Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Is the EPA Hiding and Why?

Secrecy is essential at some levels of government.  The CIA, NSA, Department of Defense, and other agencies must hide at least some of what they do to effectively promote national security.  The FBI cannot release information about ongoing criminal investigations.  

But why does the Environmental Protection Agency have or need a culture of "secrecy and evasion?"

The Daily Caller examined a blistering report by Senate Republicans that relates several shady practices.  It refused to answer some Freedom of Information Act requests.  When it did, it redacted the necessary information.  EPA officials also used secret email accounts to communicate on policy.  These would be more difficult for journalists and other investigators to uncover.

Courts have slapped down EPA overreach before.  An Obama appointee ruled that the EPA acted improperly when it revoked a Logan County coal operator's permit.  Although an appeals court reversed the ruling, the Supreme Court may likely rule in favor of the operator.  The EPA is currently battling a Hardy County farmer because, among other things, it claims that her farm produces too much dust. It also criticized a judge's ruling to allow the Farm Bureau to join the suit.  Of course without the resources of the Farm Bureau, the farmer might not be able to continue to pay lawyers to keep the fight going.

Even mine workers' union leader Cecil Roberts used colorful language to describe the EPA's intent to kill the coal industry.

The EPA uses intimidation by lawsuit, secretive tactics, and other methods to attack property rights, family farms, and profitable businesses.  This brings negligible benefit to the environment, but expands the control of Washington bureaucrats over lives and jobs.

Time to bring transparency to bureaucracy.  The EPA does not just wage war on coal or family farms, but against the rights of individuals to responsibly make decisions about their property and states to enforce reasonable regulations.

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