EPA turns 40, but I'm not sending a birthday card


Author:  Damien M. Schiff

Today's Wall Street Journal has an oped by Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, celebrating the agency's 40-year history of enforcement of federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.  I'm sure that one can find any number of "successes" that EPA has had over the last four decades in reducing pollution and improving the environment (although query whether these goals would have been achieved anyway through the private sector).

But noticeably absent from Ms. Jackson's article is a discussion of EPA's many regulatory abuses.  Perhaps most prominent among them is the agency's thirty-year history of overextending the Clean Water Act's mandate to regulate the waters of the United States.  Over the years at PLF, we have represented many innocent landowners who incurred the ire of the EPA just for exercising their constitutional and natural right to use and develop their private property.

EPA's abuse, unfortunately, is not limited to the Clean Water Act; recently, the agency has begun taking the initial steps essentially to control the entire American economy by regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.  In so doing, the agency has flouted basic procedural protections designed to insure the scientific credibility of its decisionmaking.

The sorry tale of abuses could go on and on.  Suffice it to say, though, that I shan't be attending the agency's b-day party.