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Wednesday, 06 April 2011 17:49

Written by Evelyn Pyburn

Since first I understood how the regulatory world functions, I have held a great angst about the process – only part of which has to do with the cost and waste of bureaucracy, and the one-size-fits -all mentality of top-down administration. Always clear was the threat, inherent in the process, which sidesteps the constitutional process and places power in hands never intended.

That’s exactly how regulations have long functioned, but now that regulators are aggressively reaching further than ever before, the consequences have become so glaringly apparent that everyone can see.

Actions have consequences.

Industry throughout Montana is feeling the full brunt of this excess, as the Environmental Protection Agency has run amuck in using their regulatory powers to impose policies never approved by any elected body – either federally or by the state. By simply refusing to issue permits, which by their own rules should otherwise be issued, the EPA is shutting down a broad range of mining, industry and natural resource development. And apparently there’s little left that “we the citizens can do.” Bureaucracy has seized power from the state and from local governments, and even for that matter, from Congress.

Surely EPA’s aggression comes at the direction of President Obama, who has also seen fit to utilize the same regulatory process to shut down production of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. All the more outrageous, since after having imposed an anti-production policy in the US, he goes to Brazil to give them $2 billion of US tax revenues, to develop oil in that foreign country.

What kind of national energy policy is that?

We no longer have a right to ask.

Long ago and over a period of decades, Republicans and Democrats alike, acquiesced, the due process that was supposed to be used in forging any national policy. We have relinquished that power to unidentifiable and unaccountable bureaucrats, hidden away in the halls of federal office buildings.

With all the good intentions in the world, but with little understanding of the structure of government, we forfeited the power left to people and handed the reins of that power to the office of the President.

While current events are dramatic, this is really nothing new. We have been marching to the tune of regulatory law for a long time now. Elected officials in the County of Yellowstone and the City of Billings must mitigate their decisions, every day, to conform to unelected regulatory bureaucrats. Most of it comes through the pipeline of transportation funding and regulations. The point of the regulations is — not to assure “health and safety,” the favored mantra — it is to promote a very specific political agenda of people who want to be able to dictate everything about the life of each citizen – what kind of house they live in, what they are allowed to do to make a living, who they live with, where they live, how they travel; what they eat, and what they do for pastimes. It’s called Smart Growth, Livable Communities, Walkable Communities, Complete Streets or Compact Cities, etc.

Much of our tax dollars are being spent – not in building roads – but in “educating” us to accept this one-size-fits all concept of a utopian society. If local officials do not comply with the edicts, the federal government threatens, on a daily basis, to withhold transportation funding. And, none of it has passed through any legislature.

Another simple example of how regulations are used to counter elected representation was recently reported in the effort of Governor Brian Schweitzer to circumvent a bill that passed both houses. The bill was aimed at preventing just one of those federal edicts from being enacted in Montana – the installation of fire suppression sprinklers in new homes, which homebuilders say is ineffective and undermines affordable housing. The Governor wants to veto the bill by proposing to empower a state agency to write regulations to enact the very policy the legislature specifically rejected. And, of course, it’s all in the name of “health and safety.”

It’s a nice compromise, some will think, but it’s the kind of compromise that has delivered us, incrementally, over the years, to this point. It is not a compromise at all – it is a complete capitulation of representative democracy. And, unless citizens fully come to understand the diabolical nature of this kind of government, there will be no chance to ever change it.

For a thorough guide to the Left and its’ agenda, click here.


  1. Kevin says:

    Great article and great link, keep up the pressure and the great work.

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