Defeat for the stupid greens

I take care of my forest roads better than any little city punk can. So do my neighbors. That is why I am delighted that the Supreme Court struck down an attempt by the Northwest Environmental Defense Center to tell me what to do.

These clowns wanted to call my roads a "point source" pollution, which would mean lots of expensive Federal permits to do ordinary business. Fascists - stay out of my business. I know much better than you do.

The Supremes struck this down 7-1. In your face Northwest Environmental Defense Center. You know that they are based in the same place that gave us Monica Lewinski. I guess they suck too.

Posted by Christine & John at March 20, 2013 9:52 PM
Comments
Comment #363124

OH SNAP!

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 21, 2013 2:22 PM
Comment #363127

Let me liven up this conversation just a little: I received a phone call from my son just an hour ago. He owns a commercial electrical company and hires union workers. He was successful in bidding on a holding facility for illegals in his state. He told me something very interesting and I thought I would share it. I’m curious if this is just an isolated incident, or if it is going on all across the country. The government is not building the facility, although it is being built for ICE. My first question is, why would ICE be building holding facilities for illegal aliens, when illegals are being turned loose. Secondly; the facility is being built by a contractor out of California with non-union workers. My son’s company got the job simply because he was able to give the lowest bid. He told me the plumbers are from San Diego and came clear across the country to work on this job, which is puzzling; how could plumbers from CA underbid local plumbers? But the most interesting thing is that the facility is being paid for through government leasing and yet the government is not really building it. If the government was building it, it would require a prevailing wage to be paid to the workers. Prevailing wage is union scale. So the Obama administration has managed to pay for a facility with federal funds and yet outsourcing the work to non-union workers. I might add, my son’s company is the only one using union workers. This is interesting; but the most interesting thing (and it depends on how many of these facilities or other government facilities are being built) is that private jobs are being created by the direct use of tax dollars. If thousands of jobs are being created this way, wouldn’t that effect the employment numbers of the private sector? Isn’t Obama stabbing the union workers in the back?

Posted by: DSP2195 at March 21, 2013 4:15 PM
Comment #363129

The Corpocracy works in mysterious ways, DSP2195.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at March 21, 2013 4:43 PM
Comment #363204

C&J,

It appears Scalia was the only dissenter. Although I hardly agree with his ideology, I must commend him for his fealty.

DSP2195,

I’m not sure what you are trying to say and your anecdote does not demonstrate anything that I would consider unusual and even if it did, one instance certainly does not constitute a trend.

is that private jobs are being created by the direct use of tax dollars. If thousands of jobs are being created this way, wouldn’t that effect the employment numbers of the private sector?
Public spending certainly does influence private sector employment. It’s called Keynesian macroeconomic theory and it has guided Obama’s policy-making ever since he took office. Keynesianism was the primary reason for ARRA and all the other legislation that was meant to aid in our economy’s recovery. Posted by: Warren Porter at March 22, 2013 1:19 PM
Comment #363216

Warren

The reasoning is perhaps not optimal. But the idea that these little shitheads would be able to bother me on my land, when I do a much better job of safeguarding water than their standards demand, is just infuriating. I can imagine these little shits. They love their abstract view of nature, but have never dirtied their soft little hands with any actual work in it.

Posted by: C&J at March 22, 2013 7:38 PM
Comment #363232

C&J

Imagine that a bunch of little birkenstock wearing ecoweanies wanting to tell you how to manage your own property. But then isn’t that what progressives do best. Tell the rest of us how to better do things, that they know nothing about. Which sums up the last 4 years of the Obama administration. LOL !!! Gotta love busybodies.

Posted by: dbs at March 23, 2013 10:27 AM
Comment #363239
The reasoning is perhaps not optimal. But the idea that these little shitheads would be able to bother me on my land, when I do a much better job of safeguarding water than their standards demand, is just infuriating. I can imagine these little shits. They love their abstract view of nature, but have never dirtied their soft little hands with any actual work in it.

I’m not a expert on this particular case, but it appears that the controversy was that a literal interpretation of EPA rules established in accordance with the clean water act would have classified the sediment runoff from logging roads as industrial waste. Fortunately, the EPA corrected the error in the rules recently, but this occurred long after this case had navigated its way through our courts.

This question goes to the heart of how our bureaucracies function. Although the laws will clearly spell out their intent most of the time, there will inevitably be errors such as this one and the question before the court was whether or not the EPA has the discretion to not enforce a rule in situations it deems inappropriate. This sort of flexibility is necessary for any organization to function when it may face a variety of situations, however it can be dangerous to empower unelected civil servants to modify our laws.

Scalia is usually very obedient to his strict-construction ideology, which is why I commended him for sticking to his guns and adopting a strictly literal interpretation of the EPA rules that came from the clean water act. Scalia evidently does not believe in empowering our bureaucrats to selectively interpret laws no matter how silly the laws or rules may b from a policy standpoint.

Imagine that a bunch of little birkenstock wearing ecoweanies wanting to tell you how to manage your own property.
When what you do on your property flows downstream and onto my property it certainly is my business, which is why we have the clean water act in the first place. Of course, it has not been demonstrated that the sediment runoff from a logging road is significant enough to adversely impact others in such a way that would justify its regulation under the clean water act. Posted by: Warren Porter at March 23, 2013 1:27 PM
Comment #363242

Warren

Actually the EPA are the good guys here. It is that pressure group that tried to expand the scope of the clean water act and the 9th Circuit which ratified the stupidity.

Usually, I try to be at least a little “understanding” but in these cases I just hate those suckers. I would happily kick their pansy asses. I don’t take kindly to their sort bothering me when I know much better than they do.

There is no problem here to be solved. Most of us landowners do a great job of protecting water resources. It is our land after all. IF the water downstream is polluted, then you might have cause to complain. But we don’t need legal speculation.

They want to impose rules on us that would simply push small operators out of the timber business. Then they would be left with big companies, which they like better because they have deeper pockets. It is truly nefarious.

I have sometime met these urban environmentalists. They are simply bad news. Elitist little pansies who don’t deserve to set foot on an honest man’s land. They hate our freedom and want to take it away from us. And I am sugar coating this.

They are like a cancer growing on the environmental movement. They cannot be ignored and must be cut out wherever they are found.

Posted by: C&J at March 23, 2013 1:35 PM
Comment #363244
Actually the EPA are the good guys here

I understand that and I agree with the court’s decision. The question was whether unelected bureaucrats should have the latitude to interpret laws and rules as they see fit. I think they ought to have such discretion is cases such as this. Keep in mind though that this is a “loose construction” interpretation that is usually a cause for scorn amongst conservatives. Justices Thomas, Alito and Roberts apparently are willing to compromise their “strict construction” interpretation when they find it politically expedient. I think this case makes fools of those conservatives who derided Obama when he praised Sotomayor for her empathy.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 23, 2013 2:14 PM
Comment #363247

Warren

I think that the EPA showed rare restraint. IMO, bureaucrats always have the option of interpreting their mandate more narrowly. It is rarely done.

The problem comes when bureaucrats and government usurp power. Nothing in the law requires that they consider roads point source pollution. If the law does not provide for it, it is better if they don’t do it.

Our freedoms are rarely threatened by government doing less than some extremists want.

The problem with “empathy” is that it expands rules. IMO the direction is important. Laws limit our freedom. We need some of them. But we should be much more careful in interpretations that expand their impact than those that are conservative.

Anyway, this was plain stupid. It was an attempt at usurpation by a groups using the courts against honest free people. I am glad they were slapped down.

Posted by: C&J at March 23, 2013 2:43 PM
Comment #363250
Nothing in the law requires that they consider roads point source pollution.

I don’t have time to actually track down the legal text for you, but it seems that a literal interpretation of the rules associated with the Clean Water Act would require the logging companies to obtain permits for their roads. The EPA decided it was unwise to mandate the permits in this situation, but some Law Students from Lewis & Clark thought otherwise and sued.

IMO the direction is important
I disagree. If we defer to our bureaucracies to interpret the language of their own rules and regulations, it must be done in both directions. The potential for abuse applies just as much when an agency refuses to enforce a rule provided by law than when an agency closes a loophole in the original law.

Consider the example where a bureaucrat narrows the scope of a rule simply to help a business in which he or she has invested? Is this not just as bad as the bureaucrat who expands a rule in order to hurt a business that competes with the one he or she has invested?

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 23, 2013 3:43 PM
Comment #363253

Warren

The clean water act did not address forest roads. In the absence of this, we assume that it was not contemplated by the framers of the act. If Congress wants to add this interpretation, it needs to do it through statute. There is no penumbra in regulation.

“Some Law Students from Lewis & Clark thought otherwise” and the Supreme Court kicked their narrow asses by an overwhelming margin. Maybe that explains why they went to Monica Lewinski’s alma mater.

Re interpreting the law - IMO bureaucrats should be circumspect in their mandates. They are not elected by the American people and have no independent right to create law. When in doubt, keep it out. If congress wants to put it in, it can do so.

Re narrow interpretation - A bureaucrat should have no investments in any firms he/she regulates. That violates ethics rules. If anyone violent these rules, he/she is subject to discipline or dismissal.

The other thing that makes sense is precedence. If something has not been included for thirty years, it makes no particular sense for a bureaucrat to add it in. It is specifically and clearly usurpation.

Most bureaucrats will happily extend their mandate as far as it will go. It is how they get promoted and how they extend their power. If they need to be pushed by an outside groups of extremists to do more, you can pretty much be sure that it should not be done.

Posted by: C&J at March 23, 2013 4:32 PM
Comment #363254
The clean water act did not address forest roads

From what I can tell, the CWA addresses point and nonpoint sources of pollution. The former require permits and the latter do not. For 40 years, the EPA has defined logging roads as nonpoint sources, but this is not the most natural interpretation of the CWA. After all, the culverts and other drainage elements on such a road are fixed and do not move. Nevertheless, the unique aspects of logging mean it makes little sense for the EPA to regulate these roads, so they had a longstanding practice of defining them as nonpoint sources of pollution.

The point of this Supreme Court case was not to determine the wisdom of requiring permits for logging roads, but rather to determine how much latitude the EPA has to determine the scope of the laws it is supposed to enforce.

Because I am young and naive, I trust our civil servants to do their jobs with excellence, so I am willing to grant them a wide amount of discretion to interpret our laws. Only if such an interpretation clearly violates the intentions behind the law should the courts get involved. From what I’ve read today, this is known as “Auer deference” or “Chevron deference” depending on the context (Auer & Chevron are the names of certain Supreme Court cases from 15 and 30 years ago).

I acknowledge that my beliefs are not congruent with the “strict construction” interpretation of law sought by conservatives. I think this case is a good example as to why we cannot always rely on a strict literal interpretation. So far, I get the feeling that you only support a deference to a government agency when you stand to benefit, but that you will take the opposite side if the roles are reversed.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 23, 2013 6:20 PM
Comment #363256

Warren

If you define forest roads as point source pollution, you will also be able to define farm fields, ordinary roads and rooftops.

It is extremist.

“Because I am young and naive, I trust our civil servants to do their jobs with excellence, so I am willing to grant them a wide amount of discretion to interpret our laws.”

This is not what we grant to bureaucrats. Believe me when I tell you that you don’t want to grant more. You want them to leave out when in doubt.

Most civil servants are honest, dedicated and patriotic. But the incentive system encourages expansion.

Strict interpretation is a one-way system. It means that you cannot have MORE. Officials can have the powers given them by the laws. That’s it.

I think government agencies should generally be circumspect with their regulations. Self-abnegation is a real virtue for anyone in government. George Washington did it, which is an important reason why our revolution did not end in tyranny as they did in France, Russia or China.

So I support this instance of a government agency using its discretion because it did so in the right direction.

The pinheads who brought the case were trying to force government to be more tyrannical.

We actually have a dangerous situation when we get activist governments. Agencies encourage outside pressure groups to sue. They put up a token defense and then are “forced” to increase their power. Often the government actually pays the legal fees for the pirates. I applaud the EPA for not doing this. But the danger is not passed. These evil activists will be back, no doubt.

Posted by: C&J at March 23, 2013 6:41 PM
Comment #363257

Warren

I would also say that government has no right to interfere with my property rights in these cases. This is a higher right than that of bureaucrats. Even the legislature has no right to take it. It does not lie within their legitimate power. If they were to impose this, my duty would be civil disobedience.

Posted by: C&J at March 23, 2013 6:50 PM
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