Freshman Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has reportedly drafted a bill which would abolish the EPA entirely.
Freshman Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) outlined his plan in a letter to colleagues obtain by The Hill and first reported by The Huffington Post.
“Today, the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats; and the Environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender,” Gaetz wrote in the letter soliciting support from lawmakers.
“Our small businesses cannot afford to cover the costs associated with compliance, too often leading to closed doors and unemployed Americans,” he continued. “It is time to take back our legislative power from the EPA and abolish it permanently.”
The part of this email that most accounts seem to ignore is the mention of taking back legislative power. The problem with the EPA is not that it stands in the way of evil Republican businessmen who want nothing more than to destroy the environment for profit. That’s the Captain Planet cartoon version of reality.
The real problem with the EPA—and most if not all regulatory agencies—is that they write and enforce regulations that carry the same authority as federal law. Writing laws is the job of the legislative branch, yet these agencies are part of the executive branch and they are run by people who are almost totally unaccountable to voters. When unelected bureaucrats have the power to write laws, we’re no longer functioning as a representative republic.
The Hill makes the mistake of assuming the EPA is only an enforcement agency. The EPA also creates the regulations it enforces. An agency whose only task was to enforce environmental laws passed by Congress and signed by the President would not be as problematic because it would be enforcing rules enacted by the people and not by D.C. cubicle dwellers.
Gaetz did not specify which federal authority would be responsible for enforcing the laws that currently fall within the EPA’s jurisdiction, or if the laws would also be repealed.
Gaetz is reportedly getting some support from Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY).
Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky has joined a Florida congressman’s effort to pass a bill that would eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida identified Massie in a news report by the Pensacola News Journal, which like The Courier-Journal, is part of the USA Today Network. Massie represents the state’s sprawling 4th Congressional District, including portions of Jefferson and Oldham counties.
“The Constitution reserves lawmaking authority for the legislative branch, not unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch,” Massie said in a statement Friday. “The EPA makes rules that undermine the voice of the American people and threaten jobs in Kentucky.”
The Constitutional concern at the heart of this story is the most important consideration, but don’t look for the it to get much coverage in the mainstream media. Protecting the environment is not a bad thing. There needs to be a way of doing it that also protects the Constitution and fixes a broken system.