The EPA Can Go To Hell, and I Will Go To Texas

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Last week,
the feds sent the Environmental Protection Agency out to harass
the sovereign state of Texas. Texas needs to reclaim the spirit
of Davy Crockett, when he famously proclaimed “you may all
go to hell, and I will go to Texas”; and send the federal agency
packing. Here’s why and how.

EPA’s
Goal is Centralization of Power

By sending
the EPA to Texas, the federal government’s goal is not environmental
improvements. The goal is centralization of power. The tactic is
to use the unelected bureaucrats of the EPA to increase Texas dependence
on the federal government through arbitrary and economically crippling
regulation.

Refinery permits
are just tools that the EPA intends to use to control the Texas
oil and gas industry. EPA control can force Texas into dependence
in at least two ways. First, though excessive regulation of a major
industry, economic growth will be stifled. This will create more
state dependence on federal funds. Second, unnecessary EPA regulations
will cost Texans jobs. This is will create individual dependence
on welfare programs and since these programs include state-mandated
funding, Texas will be hit with additional liabilities.

The political
problem for the EPA is that Texas’ commonsense policies have
resulted in cleaner air while maintaining one of the healthiest
economies in our nation during the current recession. This Texas
independence and success is why the feds will continue to financially
attack Texas. A self-sustaining state is very problematic for a
federal government that is trying to centralize all the power in
Washington. So expect the relationship between the Texas state government
and the U.S. government to increasingly deteriorate. Bill Hammond,
president of the Texas Association of Business, had this to say
about the political dilemma facing the EPA:

“Evidently,
Texas’ success in improving both our environment and our
economy, while Washington still argues about how to accomplish
either, is something that EPA and the administration finds troubling.”

Proponents
of centralized government will attempt to argue that Texas’
policies are causing the streets of New Orleans to smell like the
morning after a frat party, or that pollution from Texas is causing
smog in LA and NYC, or that the earth will be destroyed by the Texas
carbon footprint. All of these arguments are ridiculous excuses
designed to provide cover for a federal power grab. These straw
man arguments do not in any way reflect reality.

Proponents
of centralized government will argue that Texas should just roll
over and take it because, they falsely proclaim: Texas needs federal
subsidies. When in fact, Texas has been a donor state for decades
and currently only gets back 94 cents for every dollar that is sent
to Washington. Historical data shows that every year since 1981,
Texas citizens have donated more to the federal government than
what was received. The truth is that if Texas continues to roll
over and take it, then at some point in the near future Texas will
become dependent on federal money and require more back than what
was put in, and that is certainly one of the goals of centralization.

The real battle,
often hidden behind the propaganda, is between sovereign states
seeking a level of independence guaranteed by the Constitution and
a federal government that seeks to undermine the American system
of federalism itself. Texas success is a powerful example that local,
more decentralized government works best and for centralizers, that
kind of example must be destroyed.

Texas’
Duty is Decentralization of Power

Texas should
invoke the 10th and legally send the EPA back Washington D.C. where
they can look for a lesser target to plunder. The tenth amendment
guarantees a limited federal government and grants governing authority
to states and to the people. Leaders in the Texas legislature and
Governor Perry have responded with strong words against the EPA’s
intrusion.

Governor Perry
said this about the EPA’s actions:

“The
Obama administration has taken yet another step in its campaign
to harm our economy and impose federal control over Texas. On
behalf of those Texans whose jobs are threatened by this latest
overreach, and in defense of, not only our clean air program,
but also our rights under the 10th Amendment, I am calling upon
President Obama to rein in the EPA and instruct them to study
our successful approach for recommended use elsewhere.”

Texas State
Representative Wayne Christian had this to say:

“The
EPA’s unilateral and unwarranted takeover of air quality
permits in Texas further proves that the federal government has
a clear disregard for the authority of the Texas Legislature and
for the principle of federalism. Washington is seeking to command
and control all sectors of economic activity. This action must
not stand.”

It is apparent
that Texas politicians and leaders understand that this is a federal
power grab that should not be allowed to proceed. However, in recent
times, leadership in Texas has been more about talking the talk
and less about walking the walk. A recent example, still fresh on
the minds of many Texans, is the hesitancy of the Governor to call
a special session so that Texas might pass nullification legislation
to protect its citizens from the unconstitutional mandates of Obamacare.

While this
delay in legislation concerning health care may prove to be the
proper course strategically, this may not be the case in the battle
against the EPA’s permit consolidation. EPA’s regional
administrator has indicated that Texas has “weeks, not years”
before the EPA begins taking over the entire air-pollution permitting
program. The time to act has arrived.

Texas leadership
would do well to find inspiration in another Davy Crockett quote:

“I
would rather be beaten and be a man than to be elected and be
a little puppy dog. I have always supported measures and principles
and not men. I have acted fearlessly and independent and I never
will regret my course. I would rather be politically buried than
to be hypocritically immortalized.”

The solution
is straightforward: the state government of Texas should tell the
EPA to go to hell. In practical terms this means that nullification
legislation should be passed by the Texas legislature and signed
by the Governor. This legislation, based on the tenth amendment,
should declare federal mandates with regards to the Clean Air Act
null and void in the state of Texas and should include penalties
for federal agents or local law enforcement agents that attempt
to enforce this federal law in the state of Texas.

In an age of
rapid centralization of power in Washington DC, nullification legislation
denying federal authority is becoming common. Various states have
defied federal laws by passing legislation designed to nullify:
federal healthcare laws, federal firearm laws, federal marijuana
laws, federal identification laws, among others.

Reprinted
from the Tenth Amendment
Center
.

June
22, 2010

Brian
Roberts [send
him mail
] is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Texas
Tenth Amendment Center
.

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