Don’t ask me why, but in my ongoing research, I thought it would be interesting to go inside government and see what it looks like in there. It’s not easy, but I did find an interesting avenue to stroll down. I firmly believe the more we know about how it all works, the easier it is to make determinations about what’s true and what’s fake. I tried hard to keep it short and simple, but government is complicated…..politics is woven into everything. So here’s one glimpse into one of its inner workings.
In 1964, an obscure agency was created to make recommendations to congress and administrative agencies as to how to create and implement regulations. I suppose like with all things congress does, it had good intentions. It is called the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS). It was made up of paid staff and volunteers from business, science, and academia to look at the regulatory process and make recommendation as to how to streamline the process and in short, make it better. By 1995, this agency was defunded and discontinued. If you recall, 1994 was the year the republicans gained control of the House for the first time in 40 years. While it was in business, the agency developed a procedure called REG-NEG, which stands for Negotiated Regulations. It was designed by staff members David Pritzker and Deborah Dalton. Its purpose was to bring all stake holders together before a regulation was created, in order to shorten the time for implementation and to avoid litigation after the fact.
Little did we know that this agency was reinstated by president Obama in 2009. It was funded by congress in the usual way, in secret, without fanfare….placed obscurely in an appropriation bill. It has a paid chairman, and a 12 member staff….all appointed by the president. However it also has a member list of 38, of not paid members, 10 of which are appointed by the president. One of these appointed members was Thomas Perez, the new head of the DNC and former secretary of Labor under Obama. As near as I can tell, all 10 were Obama loyalists which is not surprising.
I only mention this, because in 1997, during the Clinton Administration, Cary Coglianese, a law professor at Penn University, did a study and wrote an article, criticizing the REG-NEG procedures. His work was quickly denounced by one Phillip Harter of the Washington-based Mediation Consortium, that his methodology was faulty and he only looked at the most controversial issues. It was not shared that professor Coglianese was a rabid environmentalist and a climate change advocate. When the agency was re-created, in 2009, it soon abandoned the REG-NEG protocol. Professor Coglianese was added to the agency roster and is a current member. Since 2009, the EPA has reverted to its own way of imposing regulations. The idea of getting input from those affected, was done away with. They have stacked this obscure agency with lawyers and professors. Of the 38 members listed on their website, 31 are either a lawyer or a professor.
I don’t know what this all means, but we know that over the last 8 years, the EPA has run wild making intrusive regulations, with seemingly no concerns for business, the economy, or even private citizens. The regulations fulfill an agenda, to stymie any reasonable exploration of oil, mining of coal, construction of refineries, use of public or private land or building of pipelines. But one thing to see in addition to the EPA’s malfeasance is another agency that serves no purpose, costing millions to fund, being staffed with appointees of the president. Fortunately, Donald Trump is and is trying to change this type of regulation, and this type of waste. We can do both….keep the environment sound, and promote and encourage economic activity. But like Bannon said earlier, the administrative state needs to be dismantled including this purely political agency, ACUS. In fact…it’s absolutely imperative that we do.