This is one of the most delicious articles I’ve ever read. I mean ever. Not only is is chock full of schadenfreude but it underscores the extent to which the Democrats know that the regulatory state is leaching power from Congress and arrogating it to civil servants who answer to absolutely no one and why that shift of power is critical to their agenda.
Joe Pizarchik (is that a real name?) spent more than seven years working on a regulation to protect streams from mountaintop removal coal mining.
It took Congress 25 hours to kill it.
“My biggest disappointment is a majority in Congress ignored the will of the people,” said Pizarchik, who directed the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement from 2009 through January. “They ignored the interests of the people in coal country, they ignored the law and they put corporate money ahead of all that.”
This is such a crock of lies. The people, acting through their elected representatives, decided that an unnecessary regulation that had a singular purpose, to wit, destroying the coal mining industry, should be repealed. The people charged with making laws in this nation repealed the rule. It is a pretty simple concept and one that has held us in good stead since 1787.
But there is more:
“It’s devastating, of course,” said Alexandra Teitz, a longtime Democratic Hill aide who joined Interior’s Bureau of Land Management in 2014 as a counselor to the agency’s director and worked on a rule to curb methane waste from oil and gas production. A House-passed Congressional Review Act resolution targeting that rule awaits action in the Senate.
“If there had been more time and Congress had not rushed this through but had actually deliberated on what was in the rule, [then] the results would have been different,” Pizarchik said.
“I can’t venture to say that that many people, when they’re being honest, have actually read the rule,” said Brandi Colander, who was Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management before leaving in September for the National Wildlife Federation.
“I think that when cooler heads really can prevail and you push the politics to the side, we should really be asking ourselves, should we be able, with the stroke of a pen, without requiring people to read it and not even giving these rules a chance to see the light of day — is that actually good governance?” she added.
The real question, of course, is is it good governance to have people with no actual skin in the game making rules that devastate economies for the sake of getting a plaque and plaudits from lobbying groups set about to devastate communities and destroy livelihoods? Because that is what these, to coin a phrase, sh**-gibbons are espousing.
If you think this doesn’t imperil their agenda and worldview, you are sadly mistaken. These people are claiming that Congress has no authority to actually make law.
Pizarchik is already working on ideas to write a new version of the stream rule under a future president, though he declined to share any details. He also hinted someone could mount a constitutional challenge to the review act itself, which critics have long argued tramples on the separation of powers.
“I believe there’s a good chance that, in a legal challenge, that a court will overturn Congress’ actions here as an unconstitutional usurpation of the executive branch’s powers,” he (that would be Joe Pizarchik) said.
The whole idea that federal agencies can make regulations that have the effect of law and actually supersede laws enacted by state legislatures is relatively new. The very authority that these agencies have has been delegated to them from Congress, it isn’t found in the Constitution. What Pizarchik is advocating is the creation of a separate process for governing the nation and one that is unaccountable to the people at any point. That should be terrifying to everyone, right and left.