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There are many federal agencies that have long outlived their
usefulness — too many, in fact. But few demonstrate this better than
the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA, which is 30 years old, was formulated ostensibly to
“regulate” environmental issues ranging from the dumping of toxic
chemicals by industrial plants to cleaning toxins out of the air
generated by “dirty” factories. It has long since fulfilled these two
goals and, after costing industry untold trillions of dollars
over the years in compliance costs, fees, fines and whatnot, the agency
and its 20,000 employees have little left to accomplish except
perpetuate their own existence.

Witness the agency’s newest “clean air” rules regulating Sport
Utility Vehicles.

According to Ben Lieberman, a policy analyst with the Competitive
Enterprise Institute, in Washington, D.C., the EPA now has “a penchant
for peddling expensive measures that not only fail to do much good but
may actually harm the environment and public health.”

Lieberman says last May, “the agency proposed new rules tightening
motor vehicle emissions, including those from light trucks, a category
of vehicles that includes the popular SUVs and minivans. In conjunction,
the agency also proposed sharply lower standards for sulfur content in
gasoline, which the EPA argues would help the new generation of
cleaner-burning vehicles operate more effectively. The EPA claims, among
other things, that the targeted reductions in tailpipe emissions of
nitrogen oxides (NOx), ‘would yield large reductions in ozone,’ the main
constituent of smog.” He notes that EPA even “conceded that the new
rules would increase the cost of vehicles and the price of gasoline,”
but of course assured everyone that “the benefits would outweigh the
costs.”

Where have we heard that lie before?

In any event, Lieberman notes, the EPA’s rules — proposed now for
Detroit, among other major metro areas — will not only be meaningless
(and still expensive), but may actually harm the environment by
worsening ozone gas (the main contributor to smog).

None of that matters, however, because the EPA is no longer a federal
agency out to do you and me some good. No, they — like most federal
agencies — have become inhabited over the years by career, flaming
liberals who don’t care about science or proof or evidence or facts; all
they care about is their own personal political agendas.

The EPA is rife with officials who seem to hate the technologically
modern America and those companies, businesses and individuals that got
us to the point we are at. Why, I don’t know, but any sane person who
takes a look at this case (and others) promoted by the EPA while lacking
sound evidence to support their regulations has to conclude that
something other than the principle of “for our own good” is at work
here.

Lieberman notes that the evidence suggesting the agency’s rules will
worsen ground level ozone “should come as no surprise” to them because
“as far back as 1992, a National Research Council report stated that
ozone concentrations rise in some urban cores, such as New York City and
Los Angeles, in response to NOx reductions. …’ EPA’s own analysis now
concurs that its new SUV and fuel rules may increase the smog above
Detroit and several other metropolitan areas. On the other hand, the
predicted smog declines occur mainly in more sparsely populated rural
regions.”

So why do this? Why palm off these expensive and worthless new rules
on industry, cities and hapless American taxpayers?

“Once again, the agency is trying to downplay scientific findings
that are at odds with its predetermined regulatory agenda,” Lieberman
concludes.

When the agency is willing to “perfunctorily” brush aside concerns
that its rules are based on bogus information, he said, “the EPA is
foisting on Detroit and other urban centers a measure that could
literally do more harm than good.”

With no real work left to accomplish, the next occupants of Congress
and the White House need to axe the EPA and return its functions either
to state agencies or, preferably, no one at all. There is no good
reason to keep funding a bureaucracy so unnecessary it has to use a
thinly veiled political agenda to “justify” itself.

Clinton’s continuing hubris

Politicians, by their very nature, are arrogant creatures. They all
like to think they have all the answers, nobody else is worth listening
to, and no one else — least of all a puny constituent — is important
enough to listen to.

But the word arrogance has been redefined under Bill Clinton.

Last week the House Government and Oversight Committee and the Senate
Judiciary Committee were considering possible subpoenas to force the
White House to give them key documents that Clinton allegedly used to
make his decision to grant clemency to eleven jailed Puerto Rican
terrorists.

In denying the congressional committees’ request, White House
spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters that Clinton — after consulting
Attorney General Janet Reno — has “decided to use his executive
privilege as president under the Constitution of the United States” and
not reveal those key documents to the people’s representatives.

Isn’t it funny how Clinton likes to use the Constitution to hide
behind when it suits him? Funnier still is the White House’s belief
that Americans are supposed to be satisfied with Clinton’s reason for
denial “after consulting Attorney General Janet Reno.” Oh, yeah — now
there’s a ringing endorsement.

Naturally, once Clinton denied the documents to Congress, there were
the stereotypical warnings and whinings from House and Senate committee
leaders. But let’s get real: What the hell does a subpoena mean to
Clinton? What is Congress — or Reno — going to do if the president
decides to ignore them, assuming they are ever issued?

Nothing. This is a game, and these lowlifes play it best because
they make up the rules.

The reason I mention this is because I actually heard people on a
call-in show last week expressing hope that Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would issue those subpoenas “so they
could get Clinton dead to rights.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I can’t believe there are
still people out there — after no Senate impeachment conviction,
after Ken Starr, after all of Clinton’s traitorous deeds — that
still think there is “hope” that this man will ever be
held accountable for anything he has done.

To these few remaining optimists, I have one word for you:
“Filegate.”

Clinton will ignore subpoenas even if they are issued because he
can. He will ignore them because Reno will let him. And he will ignore
them because he has over 900 FBI files on his “opposition” in the
Republican Party. If that FBI information wasn’t true or, at a minimum,
inflammatory and hard to explain, believe me — these career
“opposition” members would have had Clinton’s young rear in 1994 for
allowing his wife to hold health care discussions in private.

Clinton’s hubris is another reason why we need to send most of our
professional politicians packing come November 2000.

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