• 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.

    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

    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:

    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.”

    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.

    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.

    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

    Governor Perry
    said this about the EPA’s actions:

    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:

    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:

    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.

    from the Tenth Amendment

    22, 2010

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

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