Obama’s EPA Terrorizes Couple Over Their Dream Home

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


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This ban on pre-enforcement judicial review is a powerful tool that the EPA uses on a routine basis. It’s the regulatory equivalent of racketeering in a way. The Pacific Legal Foundation argues that people shouldn’t have to wait for the Agency to decide to act before acquiring some certainty. That doesn’t seem an unreasonable request, even if settling that question does not address the larger issue of overly restrictive wetlands determinations.

Predictably, environmental groups went into full Straw Man construction project mode to explain why bullying a couple trying to build their dream home is really a good thing. From a story in the Washington Post:

The danger of a Sackett victory, said Lawrence M. Levine, a senior lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council, is that it could allow major polluters to tie up the EPA in litigation.

And

“It’s really a war against federal regulation of any kind,” he added.

There’s simply no merit to either of Levine’s statements. None at all. It’s not surprising that Levine would think in terms of tying up the EPA in litigation, since that’s his organization’s modus operandi when they don’t get what they want, but suggesting that this will give major polluters (whoever they are supposed to be) a get-out-of-jail-free card is ludicrous. This is about restoring some sort of balance to a system that – thanks to the efforts of groups like NRDC – has been badly out of balance for quite some time.

Likewise, the silly argument that this is a war against all federal regulation of any kind ought to be beneath even so biased a critic as Levine. People understand that we need environmental protection and we need to look out for worker safety and we need to have speed limits and countless other measures designed to keep us safe and healthy. That said, it doesn’t follow that we should hand a blank check to every agency that’s entrusted with doing these things. Saying that you are for reasonable regulation, does not mean you are against regulation of any kind.

But then environmental groups like NRDC and the Sierra Club operate under the mindset that they should be able to sell any piece of ridiculous legislation and/or regulation to the American public by wrapping a green bow around it. Fortunately, the American people are starting to wise up. Is it too much to hope for that the Supremes do the same?

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  • JAWilson

    It’s also important to note that the couple had a building permit. They complied with the rules as they knew them.

    • PhillipGaley

      One of the problems immediately appears in the acceptance of the permit's activity in allowance then, of only permitted work or accomplishments—accepting or requesting to be included in a permit process, is equivalent to blanket apriori acceptance of approval or of denial, . . . dimitude, . . . submission, . . . don't be an infidel: submit! Or, we'll rape you, . . .

  • StephenD

    “Saying that you are for reasonable regulation, does not mean you are against regulation of any kind.”

    I’d love to view the process from inception to implementation of these regulations. You’ve got to know there is an Earth shoe, Kaki shorts, spectacled, and bearded “Program Manager” behind much of this that would stop drilling for oil to save the “habitat” of a field mouse. As we wring our hands in desperation for the plight of the field mouse our enemies have us in a death grip and “over a barrel” literally. When will we learn to tell these people to STFU and get out of the way?

  • Linda

    I live in this area and what the EPA has done in Idaho should shock and scare all Americans to death. In short, they have taken over our entire water system from large to small. ALL private well owners in the entire are, and I mean for the entire northern region of the state, had to pay a fee and resubmit to use their water with a limit on what they use…..Meanwhile the EPA has broken all laws in regards to overseeing a cleanup in the Silver Valley area and refuse to communicate with even Governor Otter on it… It is full blown communism. For those of you folks that live in areas where you are not seeing the federal government move to control all water and food production, hold on to your hats. It isn't coming down the road, it is here and now. The state department has been collecting, bottling and storing water for the last few years and will decide where, who, how and when to hand it out……This doesn't even cover the issue of the stimulus money used in this same area of Idaho to destroy roads into our national forests, leaving no access for citizens and or even fire control. Meanwhile a huge camp, FEMA built, is also in the same area now. People, we are in serious trouble in this nation and the vast majority of Americans are totally clueless.

    • Barbc

      My late parents had a farm where one of the fields had a 20 percent slope. They said we could not change the use of the field. It was a wet land and could potentially be flooded for migratory birds ? ? ?
      The only reason the farms in that area could grow crops was because of irrigation. Otherwise the only thing growing there was sagebrush, like what you find in the desert.

    • chris fokine

      Linda, right on. Iam a builder and I have seen the regulations pile up over the years.These people would prefer that no humans exist on our planet. I have had them tell me so.

      Please help get Obama out of office. That would be a good start. Chris

  • BS77

    In the Bay Area of California you can be fined $400 for using your woodstove or fireplace on "Spare the Air" days…..Funny how that volcano in Iceland erupted and blasted more dust, gas, dirt and smoke into the atmosphere than all the planes, trains, cars and coal fired electricity plants in world history….but use your piddly little woodstove and the government will fine you. Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Pinotubo in the Phillipines blasted several CUBIC MILES of dust and gas into the atmosphere…..but use your teeny little fireplace and expect a knock on your door. Amazing.

  • LeavingMD

    Look up Smart Growth and its connection with the UN! Here in Maryland, our boy governor O’Malley. is about to take full control of land use from the elected county officials and give it over to a panel of 5 people that are appointed by the governor. Maryland has been employing Smart Growth policies for over 20 years now. Oh, our boy governor is the new darling of the DemoRATS, so don’t be surprised if you see him giving the keynote speech at the convention.

  • mrbean

    Environmentalists practice what is called "Watermelon Politics" meaning green on the outside and red on the inside, with the EPA and government as their jackboot thugs.

  • Mark Anderson

    Why did they want to build on wetlands.

    • Boschwan

      That's the point you dip. By any rational definition it was NOT wetlands

    • UCSPanther

      I would classify any kind of swamp or bog as "wetlands".

      The property was none of the sort.

  • UCSPanther

    I thought the EPA's rampage in the 1990s got checked by state laws that curbed its power.

  • UCSPanther

    I would not shed any tears for the Sierra club either if it was sanctioned for its activities.

    They have caused a lot of trouble over the years for landowners, loggers, prospectors, others involved with natural resources and even for the poor schmucks who get themselves into trouble by going along with the Sierra Club's antics.

    • Western Canadian

      An utterly vile group of low lifes…. Sadly, the leader of the canadian ‘green’ party has one sole claim to fame. She brought these cons to canada…. She should be shot for doing so.

  • aspacia

    They shut-down our gun range between Highland and Redlands CA. Too many bullet casings were not picked-up. Now, we have no place to target shoot in this are. Albeit, we have a great range in Sin City.

  • PhillipGaley

    Remember the ancient story of Daniel? In order to subvert the regent to their own designs, in sleight of hand, the administrative officers sought to open a path for themselves by ensnaring Daniel in administrative red tape?

    Though it begin small and grow slowly—because people always seek to combine in a community or cabal for self-protection and aggrandizement—administrative evil is a part of administrative gov't, and the history of such shows the 'why' of necessary destruction being eventually applied to every empire, . . . And per the topic of this particular article, one thing we can be sure of, if Mexico and Russia retake certain of those nation's previous holdings on this continent, those EPA regs will have evaporated, . . . and was the kind of thing for which many ancient Romans saw relief in the appearance of the Vandals, . . .