January 9, 2013

Should EPA be made "political"?

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting oped today by Steven Hayward, a Pepperdine professor (note: behind paywall), which advocates for a reorganization of EPA.  Specifically, Hayward argues for a replacement of the EPA administrator with a panel of appointed officials, some nominated by Democrats, some by Republicans.  He contends that this arrangement would make it more difficult for EPA bureaucrats to stifle dissenting voices or to embark on economically nonsensical regulation.  The trouble with Hayward’s analysis is that it assumes that changing the top of an agency has a meaningful effect on the agency’s practice on the ground.  My experience is that low level bureaucrats are remarkably impervious to the political winds from above.

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