- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland is ending her 30-year tenure with the Environmental Protection Agency with a big crybaby letter of resignation that decries what she calls President Donald Trump’s fantasy regard for climate change.

Boo-hoo. Don’t let the door hit you on the way. If only more EPA holdovers from past administrations, and from entrenched, long-running positions of power, would follow suit. As a matter of fact, maybe this whole agency ought to pack up and fold. The states could certainly do the job — the states, locals and private sectors.

But not to hear the bureaucrats spin it.

The mainstream media’s spinning Southerland’s departure, along with the scathing letter she wrote, blasting the Trump administration’s new twist on EPA policy, as if the sky, indeed, were falling — as if Chicken Little were right and chemicals and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were blotting out all that was good in the world.

“The truth is,” she wrote, The Hill reported, “There is NO war on coal, there is NO economic crisis caused by environmental protection, and climate change IS caused by man’s activities.”

And she should know, because she’s a lifer at the EPA, not to mention a bureaucrat — the double whammy of educated enlightenment, at least in the eyes of the left. Well blah to that.

It’s views like Southerland’s that has made the EPA into the big bloated oppressor of individual and constitutional rights in recent years. Environmentalism should be about picking up trash — keeping corporations from dumping dangerous chemicals into drinking water. Instead, it’s morphed into the government’s most frequent means of exerting controls on homeowners, businesses, builders, recreational vehicle riders, hikers, hunters, campers, boaters, swimmers, and the like.

And as Southerland’s letter seems to warn, it’s an agency that’s not going to go away any time soon.

“It may take a few years and even an environmental disaster,” she wrote, “but I am confident that Congress and the courts will eventually restore all the environmental protections repealed by this administration because the majority of the American people recognize that this protection of public health and safety is right and it is just.”

That’s not a comfort. That’s ominous.

It reminds: The EPA, even under Trump, is back there, lurking in the wings, waiting for the next leftist-minded president to come and take up the regulatory reins. Ugh.

Dismantle the federal EPA. Put the states and locals in charge of environmentalism, on a limited scale. Let the private sector compete for customer loyalties based on voluntary green compliance campaigns; the nonprofits, for funding for supported environmental services. And let the 10th Amendment and Ninth Amendment, not feds, not U.S. EPA, drive environmentalism in America.

It’s the only way to ensure the federal EPA won’t surge back to full strength, uncontrolled power, in the shifting political winds of the coming years.

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