Wednesday, April 05, 2017

And then depression set in… at the EPA

by Jazz Shaw

Hard times have arrived at the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s not just the budget and staff cuts which have the long time staffers down in the dumps. It seems that they feel the new boss, Scott Pruitt, as well as his boss, aren’t exactly onboard with the old agenda which they’ve grown used to over eight years under Barack Obama. According to this report from the LA Times, this has some of them feeling so glum and hopeless that they are thinking of leaving their plush, virtually fire-proof jobs and heading out in search of greener pastures. The pressure is such that Jared Blumenfeld, a regional EPA administrator, says his phone is “ringing off the hook.”
“The number one call I get everyday is, ‘Jared, can you help us find work somewhere else,’” said Blumenfeld, who ran the regional office of the EPA encompassing California, Nevada and Arizona until last May. His advice? Don’t quit, fight. “I try to tell people that staying and doing your job at this point in history is an act of resistance, that if they leave, we will wind up with gaps in the system.” That message is not always well received from employees now working for an administration that has openly accused the agency of producing junk science, pursuing a political agenda and abusing its authority.
 ...But not everyone seems to be sad about the reductions in both personnel and regulations at the EPA. There’s an excellent piece out this week at Reason from John Stossel in which he asks the beleaguered staff at the agency to simply give him a break.
Some of what regulators do now resembles the work of sadists who like crushing people. In Idaho, Jack and Jill Barron tried to build a house on their own property. Jack got permission from his county. So they started building. They got as far as the foundation when the EPA suddenly declared that the Barrons’ property was a “wetland.” Some of their land was wet. But that was only because state government had not maintained its own land, adjacent to the Barrons’ property, and water backed up from the state’s land to the Barrons’. The EPA suddenly said, “You are building on a wetland!” and filed criminal charges against them. Felonies. When government does that, most of us cringe and give up. It costs too much to fight the state. Government regulators seem to have unlimited time and nearly unlimited money.
That’s only one of many EPA horror stories being told by Stossel. Those who have been following these regulatory nightmares which periodically show up in the news are probably already familiar with the Barrons. They wound up living in a trailer and going bankrupt, after falling hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole from fighting the EPA. And they aren’t alone...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Consequences Congress never intended by EPA ACE using the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act as excuses to take away property rights and uses by regulations.
Yet our New Mexico Congressman and Senators do nothing to protect us or restore Rights, "it's to hard".