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  • EPA's "Sustainability" Agenda: Vast Power Grab

    Barack Obama and Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on a mission to further unilaterally expand its already vast regulatory powers in the name of “sustainable development.” Congress should take action to rein in the agency before it’s too late.

    An EPA-requested report issued in August by the National Research Council (NRC), a private nonprofit, lays out “an operational framework for integrating sustainability as one of the key drivers within the regulatory responsibilities of EPA.” The NRC and the EPA held a meeting on the report just last week.

    The exact meaning of the environmental buzzword in the context of the EPA’s agenda is vague. The report refers to a broad definition from President Obama’s Executive Order 13514:

    Sustainability: “to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.”

    The EPA would carry out this broad agenda without congressional approval by claiming authority under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). According to the NRC Committee:

    The 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) declared that the “continuing policy of the Federal Government” is to “create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations” (42 U.S.C. 4331(a)). That policy expresses what is now described as sustainable development.

    It is important to note that the committee quotes selectively from the act and omits a crucial component of the federal government’s responsibility to work in cooperation with state, local, and other private and public constituents:

    it is the continuing policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.

    The NRC report places the EPA’s sustainability agenda in the context of Agenda 21, which, according to Heritage’s Wendell Cox, Ronald Utt, and Brett Schaefer:

    would significantly expand the role of government in economic decision-making, impede development and economic growth, and undermine individual choice and policy flexibility for local communities. Opponents should be concerned about efforts by the U.S. government to implement these policies, both nationally and locally.

    It is entirely unclear what limits, if any, would keep the EPA in check, and that is the biggest threat. And based on EPA’s insatiable hunger to extend its regulatory reach—from regulating CO2 emissions to its expansive Boiler MACT rules—the agency has time and time again demonstrated its willingness to circumvent Congress.

    If the EPA were to succeed in this latest power grab, it could undermine economic growth and prosperity. “Sustainable development” or “smart-growth” policies have already had negative impacts on economic growth, competitiveness, and our standard of living.

    Beyond the economic effects of “sustainability,” the agency should not be allowed to unilaterally rewrite the law. That is the prerogative of Congress, not the Executive Branch. Congress should rein in the EPA in its efforts to appropriate vast and sweeping new powers.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to EPA's "Sustainability" Agenda: Vast Power Grab

    1. Bobbie says:

      executive order?: Sustainability: “to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.” …almost sounds desperately childish!

      How rhetorical and corrupt. His job is to the people not nature. NATURE takes care of itself and WE ADAPT as history shows clearly no executive order was ever necessary! Please get the special interests out! If people want to invest by choice let it be, stop the thievery from us that SUSTAINS this corruption!

    2. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Again, we blame the EPA. It's not the EPA, it's Obama! Whenever anyone directs blame at a government agency, they are giving Obama a pass to continue to deflect his responsiblity for what he is doing to this nation. How many more time must we listen to Obama brag energy cost will "necessarily skyrocket" before we all understand it's Obama that will cause the cost of living in this country to rise to the point
      the people will cry out for full government control of all indursties, which is exactly Obama's plan.

      • Lightness says:

        I think you have something there, Lloyd. I think 600 cities have already submitted themselves to ICLEI and Agenda 21 guidelines. Check out Campaignforliberty.com to see what Virginia patriots are doing to try to stop the UN's power grab there. They put their town fathers on notice that they had no right under the US Constitution to enter into treaties with foreign nations.

    3. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      I think the NEPA's statutory language "promote the general welfare" is key just as the same phrase found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is key. The federal government shall not pick winners and losers.

      The President likes to talk about fairness. Well, fairness is a level playing field where the same rules apply to all parties in the game not a level outcome for all parties or rules enforced on some and not others.

    4. John says:

      The fear of larger government aside, what is the alternative to sustainable growth; that which is unsustainable? Likewise what is the alternative to smart-growth?

      I find myself deeply questioning opposition to sustainable development if the only concern is larger government. I am especially doubtful because this post like most stating opposition to sustainable development, has yet to provide useful supporting information nor insight as to lost jobs nor "negative impacts on economic growth, competitiveness and standard of living" concerns.

      One only needs to take a glance at companies like Inter-Face (carpeting, international, publicly traded) that have set business plans based on sustainability and than gone forward to kick the snot out of the competition, grow, create jobs, and handsomely reward investors. Of note; some of their not so "sustainable" competitors are no longer in business. That of course stands to reason as those businesses were not planning to be around for long.

      I am planning to be in business for a long time. I believe the opposition to sustainable development warrants deeper analysis and reconsideration.

      • Betsy says:

        John, I think you would enjoy the YouTube video entitled " Agenda 21 for Dummies". Don't take that personally; it is just the title of the vid. I would link it myself but am new to this 'puter, tweeting, and such. Fred Ohr touches on this below and if he is not familiar with this vid, I highly recommend it to him also. This will explain why such innocently-sounding terms such as "sustainable development" and "sustainable growth" put that sick knot of fear in the stomach of those who know the true and actual referendum to which these buzz words apply.

    5. Ldot says:

      Nothing but power hungry, arrogant, busy bodies. This agency is more polluted and poisoned than any piece of land, airspace, or body of water.

    6. TimAZ says:

      The EPA is demonstrating that it can not exist in harmony with the American people. The EPA is no longer sustainable. Had enough yet?

    7. Fred Ohr says:

      The environmental nazis have been at it since 1992 when the UN published Agenda 21. The recent batch of purloined e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at EastAnglia University link many of the global warming story tellers to funding from the UN and US DOE which is being channeled to lay down the backstory to justify implementation of many of the objectives of Agenda 21. This is a public conspiracy but the public has no idea who is behind this progressive power grab. Heritage needs to be much more proactive on this issue. Make sure Sen.Imhofe is made aware of these forces which are seeking to undermine all the good work he has done to thwart these efforts. That guy has a knack for publicity .

    8. Fred Ohr says:

      The environmental nazis have been at it since 1992 when the UN published Agenda 21. The recent batch of purloined e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at EastAnglia University link many of the global warming story tellers to funding from the UN and US DOE which is being channeled to lay down the backstory to justify implementation of many of the objectives of Agenda 21. This is a public conspiracy but the public has no idea who is behind this progressive power grab. Heritage needs to be much more proactive on this issue. Make sure Sen.Imhofe is made aware of these forces which are seeking to undermine all the good work he has done to thwart these efforts. That guy has a knack for publicity .

    9. Peter L. Dawson says:

      Examples abound where the EPA, at the behest of President Obama, is expanding control and tightening already stringent standards. Whether it is drinking water, air quality, useful chemicals which have much improved farm production, or now "sustainability"(in all facets of life I assume) , the political leadership within the EPA lie to and cheat the American people with impunity. Conservative congressional leaders are little more than an annoyance to them. It is time the people rise up and demand market based economics and true peer reviewed science, including credible opposing views, within government agencies. Congress must press on with the REINS act and stop legislation by executive fiat. The politics has truly corrupted the science.

    10. tim says:

      the epa must be sent to clean up the debris from the tsunami that is washing ashore in spokane washington……let's see how effective the epa is against nature………defund the epa now !

    11. Beth says:

      Agenda 21 is already at the local level. Look into ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) and see how the UN is trying to infiltrate your local community. I live in the St. Louis area and St. Louis County is a "member" of this scary program. There are MANY towns on the list.

    12. EVERYONE really needs to read this.

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