See: Pruitt & EPA, DeVos & DoE, Pai & FCC.
And now Kavanaugh has been put on the Supreme Court specifically because his view is that the entire idea of Congress delegating authority to government agencies is unconstitutional.
Authority? More like responsibility, aka implementation. I happen to believe that congress born agencies should never have been created. Anything Congress creates becomes a self-sustaining, unkillable organization, because...Congress is glacial in deciding anything.
Any government born agency (regardless of branch) has authority. Which is more efficient and reliable, Congressional Agencies or Cabinet Bureaus? The threat that a Bureau can be dissolved at any time is important to their operation.
I'm not sure authority is meaningfully different than power in the context of that comment, but since specifics are important in politics, I'll try to be as precise as possible.
To see a historical example of the consequences of this at work, just take a look at the recent financial collapse and the SEC response. 1 person prosecuted, and a majority of the programs that led to the collapse are now back up and running. The collapse in 2008 was dollars and cents, imagine a similar collapse involving the environment and human health.
One thing I’ve learned about constraints is that they breed creativity. It’s one of the reasons why I think a well-regulated market isn’t a bad thing.
How many of your unconstrained projects withered due to choice paralysis? How many of your tightly constrained problems led to some of the most satisfying solutions?
(* I’ve recently discovered Safe Catch brand tuna which claims to be tested for mercury and safe for athletes, children, etc. Haven’t verified their claims, but looks promising at least.)
You need to consider also that there is a lot of creativity destroyed because of the rules, and this is difficult to see or imagine. The seen vs the unseen is a Bastiat classic idea, but it is well summarized in Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt (only about 200 pages).
Believe me, I think there's too much red tape in plenty of areas of government – I definitely don't see it as black & white.
Top coal producing states (Note: only one went Democrat in 2016 presidential election)
Wyoming: 297.2 (41%)
West Virginia: 79.8 (11%)
Pennsylvania: 45.7 (6%)
Illinois: 43.4 (6%)
Kentucky: 42.9 (6%)
Coal industry job count info:
Coal industry political donations:
Pretty clear why the current administration is hellbent on supporting coal in contrast to facts.
The GOP's descent into anti-intellectualism started with a war on science and has since escalated to a war on engineering.
Unfortunately the GOP seems bound to win that war.
Lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and other chemicals do not have a political leaning. They dont selectively impact the democratic left more so than the right. They dont hang out at coffee shops or read Marx. These are chemicals that are regulated, arguably, because plutocrats began to realize they could not use their boundless wealth to escape them. They are regulated ultimately because they have been scientifically proven a unilateral threat to human health if uncontrolled.
Yes they do, unfortunately.
If you look at state-level regulation of industrial activities in the South, you'll notice that the cavalier attitude towards pollution only applies when it's the poor and the dark skinned who live downwind or downstream.
In Washington state, the Hanford facility that made plutonium for weapons was also largely staffed by prosperous white workers. Before the end of the Cold War, that community of workers knew better than anyone the risks that they and sometimes neighboring communities were exposed to by time pressures and lack of oversight. That same community was also fiercely protective of their employers and resisted health/environmental oversight by "outsiders." (See Kate Brown's Plutopia for a fascinating history.)
Mercury is a known harmful substance, and while the coal companies state they don't plan on taking advantage of any reductions I find it hard to believe that if a plant found itself not in compliance with old standards that it would voluntarily disclose and correct the issue if not required. Changing the way standards are calculated will also go a long way towards changing the standards on other pollution limits. The end result is more poison in our air, rivers, and bodies.
Add to this the Trump administrations draft plan to use the Defense Production Act to mandate the purchase of coal power and you have a pretty stark narrative.
As it stands, Trump has absolutely abysmal approval ratings for such a strong economy. If we have a recession sometime before he leaves office, I think a complete Democratic takeover of the House Senate, and Presidency is very likely.
Right now 538 is showing around an 80% chance that Republicans lose the House next month.
If the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula of Michigan were part of Wisconsin and if the Florida Panhandle were part of Alabama, Clinton would've won. These odd little geographic quirks have an enormous impact on our national politics.