American Imperialism and the War on Coal
by Bill Lockwood
Americans have traded one tyranny for another. Having cast off King George of England who regularly violated his own laws against the colonies, America has, over a period of time, allowed the same dictatorial-style principles to become incorporated in our own government. Whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considered, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), or a host of other agencies, Americans are ruled by executive decree—not the will of the people.
The Constitution (Article 1.1) authorizes that “all legislative powers” shall be “vested in a Congress of the United States…” Article 1.8 specifies approximately 20 powers which the Founders carefully enumerated. To put a lock on over-exuberant legislators they included the 10th Amendment which forbade the United States Congress from assuming more roles and authorities than was originally given.
Natural Law dictates the same. According to Flexner’s Washington, The Indispensable Man, “During the Constitutional Convention, a listing of the rights reserved to the people had been proposed but considered unnecessary since ‘natural law’ dictated that the people retained all rights that they did not specifically delegate to their government.” But the mind of man, always ingeniously devising ways to skirt the law by which to control other people, has created various government agencies to accomplish this. Thus is born the doctrine of socialism.
Environmental Protection Agency
Begun in 1970 during the Nixon Administration, the EPA’s “advisory” role was to assist in protecting human health and the environment. Free people apparently need overlords to protect us from ourselves. The very reason the Founders disallowed this concept a federal role was because of the ease with which this can be morphed into a despotic government, insulated from the voice of the people it supposedly protects. And this is exactly what has happened.
Former liberal governor of Arizona and Secretary of the Interior for President Clinton, Bruce Babbitt (CFR), exulted in 1973 that “our collective moral imperative” has been translated into one landmark law, the Endangered Species Act. This Act allows anyone to petition for a species to be listed as ‘endangered.’ The ESA protects more than 1,300 species in the United States and in 2011 The Cattleman magazine reported that the agency had been bombarded with over 1,200 more petitions within just a few years.
Human activity is thus curtailed by executive fiat in the name of protecting such animals as the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard. In truth, any species will do, for the goal of the EPA as well as other regulatory agencies is more about constraining human freedom in the name of safeguarding the environment than protecting endangered animals.
Is this worded too strongly? Let us see.
Reaching back to 1993 the Clinton Administration announced a “fundamental reorientation” of the EPA’s mission. It would now embrace the “biocentric gospel” and Al Gore would gloat, “Historically the EPA has primarily focused on the protection of human health with less consideration of the impact on ecosystem issues.” From henceforth, however, the “EPA must make ecosystem protection the primary goal of the Agency.”
In their own words we have rejected a limited government designed to allow maximum freedom replacing it with a despotism which limits the once-sovereign free people. Be reminded also that “biocentrism” by definition states that the human species is no more valuable than any other. So much for a government “for and by the people.”
The Coal Industry
Consider President Obama’s dictatorial curtailment of the Coal Industry. Fortune magazine reported in January that “The U.S. coal industry is having one of its most difficult years in decades as it faces a long, slow decline.” The current Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that “the government has put a freeze on issuing new leases for coal mining on public lands.”
This comes on the tail of coal plant closures and over 50,000 lost coal jobs within five years. Arch Coal company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year. Walter Energy, Alpha Natural Resources and Patriot Coal are some of the other coal companies that have shut down. In total, over 200 coal companies have died in the past five years. These are Obama kills by which the EPA increases regulatory oversight while making leases on federal lands more expensive.
We have rejected the free market. But it is exactly what Obama’s dictatorship promised. “…if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008, “it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
When one combines a particular doctrine—be it religious, environmental, economic—with untrammeled power and authority such as has been done with the EPA; dictatorship results. In the words of Jefferson, the government which we now have in the United States has become “as venal and oppressive as the one from which we separated.”