Recasting the EPA: Devolving power to the states
A leading groundwater scientist who urged Congress to create the Environmental Protection Agency and pass landmark laws including the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act in the 1970s says liberal activists have so perverted the EPA that it should be replaced.
In a new report, Jay Lehr, science director at The Heartland Institute ( heartland.org), writes that since the liberal takeover of the EPA began around 1981, “not a single environmental law or regulation has been passed that benefitted either the environment or society.” And with EPA rules accounting for about half the $2 trillion annual cost of federal regulatory compliance and President Obama using the EPA to impose costly new energy rules that Congress won't, he says the agency's rogue nature is too deeply rooted to be fixed.
Mr. Lehr urges a five-year phaseout of the EPA while replacing it with “a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental agencies,” which already have primary responsibility for implementing federal environmental laws and rules and are closer to regulated sites and situations. He says 80 percent of the EPA budget could be eliminated and its research labs could return to doing genuinely objective science as the 50-state committee reviews existing laws and rules.
It's an intriguing idea — one that deserves further attention as Americans increasingly ponder what should be done about what's gone so wrong with the EPA.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sunday pops
- The visa flap: A prevailing stench
- The Box
- Saturday essay: Anatomy of a backache
- Mon-Yough Laurels & Lances
- Kittanning Council conundrum: Why disband authority?
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- The student-loan balloon
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- Saturday essay: Deer of fools
- The immigration mess: Obama’s subversion