The Rule of Law:
A government with moral and legal authority promulgates written rules and universally, impartially and uniformly enforces the rules, which provides a predictable and stable legal order on which to base economic and personal decisions. The law prevails, not the proclamation or arbitrary decision of a ruler, government bureaucrat, the enforcer (e.g., policeman) or judge.
Federal Mini-Czar: Crucify at Random
In a free society, the government’s paramount duty is to create and protect the Rule of Law. This is absolutely essential for freedom and prosperity to excel. The law prevails, not the proclamation or arbitrary decision of a ruler, government bureaucrat, the enforcer (e.g., policeman) or judge.
Al Armendariz, an administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has desecrated the “rule of law.” Horrifically, the EPA bureaucrat – aka a mini-czar – encourages the arbitrary infliction of harm and damage to companies in order to exert more control over energy production. Two years ago, Mr. Armendariz lectured the following to his bureaucratic underlings:
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. … So, that’s our general philosophy.”
This has been the philosophy of all absolute rulers from ancient times to the present. In the 16th Century, Machiavelli understood that a ruler must inflict brutal power to manage, control and make subservient his victims – all under the scope of “easy to manage.” As Machiavelli has been quoted:
The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.
As a student of history and a very competent politician, Machiavelli understood how people were controlled and pacified. Machiavelli understood the power of arbitrary fear. Al Armendariz, a college professor on leave, strongly advocates the same – harshly inflict the power of government to control and manage the corporations that produce carbon fuels.
Close to the time Mr. Armendariz was advocating the selective wreaking of power, the EPA found the target to “crucify.” Range Resources was engaged in fracking. The EPA claimed ground water in Parker County, Texas had been contaminated and shut down drilling requiring Range to supply domestic water. Part of the order read:
EPA Issues an Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Order to Protect Drinking Water in Southern Parker County
EPA has determined that natural gas drilling near the homes by Range Resources in Parker County, Texas has caused or contributed to the contamination of at least two residential drinking water wells. Therefore, today, EPA has ordered the company to step in immediately to stop the contamination, provide drinking water and provide methane gas monitors to the homeowners. EPA has issued an imminent and substantial endangerment order under Section 1431 of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Parker County is located west of Fort Worth, Texas.
Range and the Texas Railroad Commission (which controls environmental issues for the State of Texas) claimed there was no scientific basis for the allegation or the emergency order. Now, two years later, a federal judge agreed with Range and the Railroad Commission, and the EPA has finally withdrawn their prosecution of Range. David Porter of the Railroad Commission describes the damage caused by the EPA.
“Today the EPA finally made a decision based on science and fact versus playing politics with the Texas economy. The EPA’s withdrawal of the emergency order against Range Resources upholds the Railroad Commission Final Order that I signed concluding that Range is not responsible for any water contamination in Parker County. Al Armendariz and the EPA’s Region Six office are guilty of fear mongering, gross negligence and severe mishandling of this case. ..
How great is the damage? Without a doubt, Range has incurred extensive engineering and environmental costs to defeat the EPA. The legal costs have to be enormous, and equally concerning is how this impacts industries and businesses processing energy. Do you invest in fracking or other innovations? Do you divert dollars from investments to politicians in order to pay for support? Do you hire more lobbyists to mollify the EPA?
The total cost to business and society is difficult to quantify. However, there is no question this isolated abuse of power has costly reverberations throughout society, directly impacting investments, employment and the cost of energy.
More important than the economic damage is the damage to the rule of law. Our Constitutional vests the legislature to make the laws and requires bureaucrats to administer them in accordance with the law. A bureaucrat must not impose their philosophy over the legislative process, where politicians are subject to the vote of the governed. Incongruous with our Constitution, the creation and appointment of czars intentionally circumvents the legislative process. This must be halted.
Armendariz’s philosophy and the actions of the EPA significantly damage the moral authority of our government and despoils a stable and predictable legal order on which We the People can rely. This bureaucratic assault by a mini-czar and the EPA harmfully degrades the rule of law in America. A small initial step towards restoring moral authority and the rule of law in America is to abolish the American czars.