How it often seems government agencies like the CDC, FDA, NIH and USDA work against finding and recommending safe, affordable, effective and natural approaches to health and healing.
Sadly — yet another government agency is hazardous to our health — by the wrongs they commit, by failing to do right, and by their unaccountable incompetence.
Of course, I’m talking about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And it’s really impossible to talk about our health without talking about the environment.
When I worked in Washington, D.C. during the 1980s in the Reagan Administration, I asked an old family friend — who was also a transplant to D.C. and an environmental lawyer — a question that had been weighing on me. Even then, the EPA bureaucracy already seemed out of control and directed by political winds and whims…and not by science.
The EPA as an entity was originally established within the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) to deal with toxic waste dumps. Congress, in turn, dumped massive federal funding into the agency without thinking through how to actually implement their largesse on behalf of public health. But the government wasn’t equipped to oversee something so big. So the EPA eventually emerged as its own independent agency — one of the bigger mistakes of big government.
But back in the 1980s, the actual Public Health Service still had some dedicated and competent professionals, including my colleagues serving under U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. As I lamented with the former Surgeon General at our private lunch several years ago (before his death at age 97 in 2013), things have really gone downhill in Washington, D.C. since then.
Back to our family friend in D.C. and the environmental law question I asked…
Why didn’t the EPA simply stay within the PHS?
At the time, the PHS still typically ran according to high professional and scientific standards. I expressed the idea that keeping the EPA within the PHS would have helped keep the science under better control and not subject to politics.
My wise friend told me they had to let the EPA go or it would have politicized all of the Public Health Service with it. Of course, since President Reagan, everything in big government has become politicized anyway, under the dictum of political correctness and more big government.
In September, I pointed out some specific examples of the EPA’s incompetence and mismanagement. For example, the agency continues to turn a blind eye to Roundup, the dangerous pesticide that poses serious health risks to humans and animals. Plus, it has already caused widespread ecological disasters in the U.S.
You may have also heard about the Congressional investigation into the EPA’s outrageous Colorado mine disaster, which dumped three million gallons of toxic sludge into the Animas River and wiped out age-old land management practices of Native American populations.
Any private entity would have been fined out of existence — by the EPA. And its top executives would have probably been sent to jail.
But when the EPA employs the environmental “criminals” who are directly responsible for this real environmental disaster, the offenders remain happily at their desks, collecting their lifetime taxpayer-provided benefits.
The public advocacy group American Commitment claims the EPA is more like a “criminal syndicate” than a group charged with protecting our health and the environment.
EPA plays by its own rules
Earlier this year, the EPA began to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants mainly from coal-fired power plants. But the new limits impose costs of $10 billion per year on the private economy with only $4 million per year in benefits. And electric utility rates for average citizens are skyrocketing even while oil prices have tumbled.
Over the summer, the U.S. Supreme court ruled against the EPA, saying the mercury limitations are illegal. Nevertheless, the EPA brags its illegal rule has already served its purpose — it forced the entire industry to comply with its illegal mandate. So although the courts finally ruled against the limitation, it’s too late. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Of course, the mercury limitation hearing was just one of the legal cases brought against the EPA recently. So far, 15 states have filed a lawsuit against the EPA for the “clean power grab,” which forces states to adopt cap-and-trade rules even though Congress rejected them. The President explained, “electricity rates would skyrocket necessarily,” as indeed they are doing.
Meanwhile, a different gang of government health bureaucrats warn about illness and deaths due to lack of heat in winter, and lack of cooling in summer, especially for people in low income communities who can’t afford to pay higher electricity and energy rates. (Presumably, Obamacare will have us pick up those costs.)
But the EPA’s outrageous “Waters of the U.S.” rule may be its most dangerous and preposterous rule of all. It grants the EPA jurisdiction over creeks and drainage ditches. Despite the fact that the actual congressional law — the Clean Water Act — specifically limits federal control to “navigable waterways.”
The EPA’s bureaucratic “rulings” fly in the face of congressional law and two Supreme Court decisions.
So — the same organization that polluted the Animas River has now put itself in charge of all our water.
These abuses of power are stunning.
Who’s really running the show?
If you think a renegade administration in the White House and a befuddled Congress incompetent to stop them runs big government, think again. It’s even worse than that.
Unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats really run big government. These bureaucrats can’t be fired and can’t be disciplined. So they simply divert more power and wealth to themselves, directly flouting the rulings of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government even when someone like President Reagan tried to rein them in.
As evidenced by their actions, environmental bureaucrats care about protecting themselves, their jobs, and their taxpayer funding. Not about protecting the environment or protecting your health.
The EPA is so busy building and abusing its jurisdictional power, it ignores real threats in the environment.
And if Americans don’t see that the problem is much more than just “water under the bridge,” we may one day see heavily armed “environmental police” elbow their way into local cafés and businesses.
In many places, they are already here.