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Karen Kwiatkowski: What does Bob Goodlatte really believe?

Bob Goodlatte tells us the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization and Improvement Act (H.R. 4153) will improve EPA administration and effectiveness by giving states more control.

It will not.

Does the EPA overreach, cost too much, and use bad science in its pronouncements?  Absolutely!  It’s a government agency, isn’t it?  Beyond this, it’s no mystery that the EPA, like the IRS and the FDA, will always go after the little guy before it will muster the courage to challenge politically connected corporations or other government agencies.

State’s rights are fundamental, and the 9th and 10th Amendments are dedicated to preserving them.  But allowing the states to administer an overfunded federal program is not the same as revamping and streamlining the federal program itself.

H.R. 4154 does not appear to reduce overall EPA spending, and in fact it offers new programs, including a government-managed Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sediment Trading scheme.   This is the job-killing Cap and Trade all over again – this time with cow manure, lawn fertilizers, and sedimentary runoff.

Mr. Goodlatte is a tinkerer. Just as we have seen with his micromanaging proposals on ethanol subsidies, wind power, the Internet, and even to balance the federal budget, our career politician in D.C. has never been willing to stand up for real conservatism, and demand real cuts in the federal budget. Instead, he has voted to borrow even more.

Creating more government programs, and divvying up EPA mandates between states and feds might sound good, but it amounts to rearranging deck chairs as the Titanic sinks.

A better proposal for the Chesapeake Bay would emphasize balance and trust equally.  Balance between costs and benefits, and trust of private property stewardship while holding local government and their favored industries (like chemical, drug and beer manufacturers) 100% accountable to the current law.

If we want clean water downstream – we have to start with the facts.  Rewriting water quality minimums in Washington, and then enticing and mandating hundreds of local municipalities take on massive new debt to meet the “new” water purity guidelines has been costly idiocy.  These EPA mandates were in many cases no more than federal “job programs,” and Mr. Goodlatte recognizes this.  But he doesn’t seem to understand that to stop the stupidity you need to tighten the EPA’s own belt such that it fights only the most important battles, and makes its case on hard science and objective data, and only that.

In this era of household budget cutting, the federal government should be cutting the EPA’s budget, not playing political shell games and designing new cap and trade schemes.   There is a reason that Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the 1980s were the most polluted countries in the world – and there is a reason you can’t eat the food, drink the water or breathe the air in many parts of communist China today.

More economic prosperity, more freedom and greater government respect for private property rights will lead to a cleaner and healthier environment, upstream and downstream.    And a healthier Republic, too!

Karen Kwiatkowski, a conservative Mount Jackson cattle farmer and veteran, is challenging Bob Goodlatte in the Sixth District congressional Republican primary on June 12.

augusta free press
augusta free press