Thursday, December 22, 2016


1. Pruitt Has Toughness, Expertise to control EPA - by Indiana Attorney General-elect Curtis Hill via Tribune Star
Washington rule makers and regulators have long needed policing by someone who understands the Constitution and is unbowed by special interests. If I could pick one guy for that job, it would be Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma. I am thrilled to see that he is likely to have the opportunity to oversee the department with the most out-of-control regulatory agenda — the Environmental Protection Agency. It is absolutely critical that our United States senators — including Joe Donnelly — confirm him for that role. Scott Pruitt has earned national recognition for his expertise in constitutional law, the federal regulatory system and his dogged determination in taking on tough fights on behalf of his constituents. One example that impacted us here in Indiana was General Pruitt’s work to successfully block the EPA’s attempts to harass America’s farmers and ranchers by redefining what the term “navigable” water means under the Clean Water Act. He also stood up to the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional executive orders, like those that led the War on Coal. Read more here...

2. Trump's Nominee for the EPA Administrator Could - And Should - Abolish the Agency - via National Review
Several commentators have characterized the selection of Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to become the next EPA Administrator as a sharp stick in the eye to the agency and its employees. They’re right — and seldom has any herd of federal bureaucrats been more deserving of it. For decades, in administrations Democratic and Republican alike, the EPA has been relentlessly ideological, politicized, corrupt, and incompetent. When I joined the Food and Drug Administration in 1979, I was essentially apolitical and knew next to nothing about federal regulation. I was a science nerd who had spent the previous 16 years in college, graduate school, medical school, and postdoctoral training. It didn’t take long until I learned about the jungle of government bureaucracies, and one of the harshest lessons concerned the perfidy and incompetence of one of the FDA’s siblings, the EPA.
I found the EPA to be relentlessly anti-science, anti-technology, and anti-industry. The only thing it seemed to be for was the Europeans’ innovation-busting “precautionary principle,” the view that until a product or activity has been definitively proven safe, it should be banned or at least smothered with regulation. In fact, during international discussions and negotiations over the harmonization of biotechnology regulations in which I participated, the EPA often seemed allied with the European Union and committed to working against U.S. interests. Read more here...
3. How the Clean Power Plan Hurts States Represented by Democrat Senators - by Jason Pye
One of President Barack Obama's most controversial regulations is getting a lot of attention after President-elect Donald Trump nominated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Clean Power Plan (CPP), under the purported authority of the Clean Air Act, requires states to develop plans to reduce emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels. If a state fails to adopt a plan, the EPA creates one for it. The rule will supposedly avert 0.015°F by 2100 of future temperature increases. In February, the Supreme Court stayed the rule until the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which sat en banc in September for oral arguments, rules in the case, West Virginia v. EPA. Twenty-seven states are part of the lawsuit against the EPA, which argues that CPP is unconstitutional because states are not given the opportunity not to participate in the implementation of the rule. Read more here...
4. Congress Should Target Unaccountable EPA Programs - via Competitive Enterprise Institute
The newly elected congressional majority should be ready and willing to help implement President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to tackle onerous regulations. But what about so called “non-regulatory programs” that have significant public policy and marketplace impacts? Congress can address problems associated with such programs by defunding them or by bringing them under the authority of existing environmental laws.
Top on the list should be the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System, also known as IRIS. IRIS gains its authority simply as a line item inside EPA’s Office of Research and Development. As a research program, IRIS operates outside the regulatory process and its accountability systems. Read more here...
5. Want to Stop Asset Forfeiture Abuse? Teach Americans That It Happens - via Reason
Americans really, really don't like it when police seize citizens' property and keep it for themselves, especially when the authorities have not proven guilt. That's the latest data from a new poll from the Cato Institute (and YouGov) examining attitudes about police. Cato notes that a full 84 percent of Americans oppose civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture is when police seize property and assets from people suspected of crimes and then keep it for themselves. Note the use of "suspected" not "convicted." Police do not have to convict suspects of crimes to use civil asset forfeiture. In many cases, they don't even have to charge them.
A bipartisan justice push has prompted reforms to regulations in several states (Ohio is the most recent). But despite the fact that Americans significantly oppose the practice, it continues in many places and is authorized and encouraged by the Department of Justice as well. Read more here...

Jason Pye
Communications Director, FreedomWorks

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