As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Congress recently revived a dormant law–the Congressional Review Act of 1996–in order to repeal last-minute Obama regulations, including a so-called ‘stream protection rule’ that would have destroyed jobs in the coal industry. Well, now Politico reports that the bureaucrat who wrote the stream rule is all salty that his handiwork is getting flushed. Almost every line of the article is unintentionally hilarious.
Joe Pizarchik spent more than seven years working on a regulation to protect streams from mountaintop removal coal mining.
Ulysses S. Grant, while dying from cancer, wrote his two-volume memoirs in less than a year. Handel composed his Messiah in 24 days. This bureaucrat takes seven years to write a stupid stream regulation.
“My biggest disappointment is a majority in Congress ignored the will of the people,” said Pizarchik, who directed the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement from 2009 through January.
Unlike Pizarchik, the members of Congress who nixed his rule were actually elected by the people.
Pizarchik and other former Obama administration officials called the rapid repeal process intensely unfair. The 1996 law says any repeal must come within 60 legislative days after a rule becomes final.
“If there had been more time and Congress had not rushed this through but had actually deliberated on what was in the rule, [then] the results would have been different,” Pizarchik said.
Yeah, no. Later in the article we learn that the GOP has opposed the stream rule since at least 2011. They had plenty of time for deliberation, and a little more time wouldn’t have changed their minds. Furthermore, if Pizarchik hadn’t taken seven years to write his rule, he could have had it enacted prior to the 60-day window, which would have made it immune to repeal.
[T]he swiftness has former Obama officials wondering if lawmakers even understood the regulations they voted to kill.
“I can’t venture to say that that many people, when they’re being honest, have actually read the rule,” said Brandi Colander, who was Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management before leaving in September for the National Wildlife Federation.
I’m guessing Brandi wasn’t complaining when Congress voted on Obamacare without reading it.
“I think that when cooler heads really can prevail and you push the politics to the side, we should really be asking ourselves, should we be able, with the stroke of a pen, without requiring people to read it and not even giving these rules a chance to see the light of day — is that actually good governance?” she added.
Apparently, Brandi’s idea of “good governance” is unelected bureaucrats imposing rules with the force of law while the elected representatives of the American people just STFU.
Teitz similarly argued that the Bureau of Land Management’s methane waste rule would have generated revenue for the energy industry, which could have sold the gas that the regulation would make it capture. But Republicans — backed by oil and gas companies — still made it a top target.
“People are looking for scalps,” she said. “‘It’s an Obama rule so let’s drag it down whether or not it’s actually costly to industry.’”
LOLZ. The bureaucrats would have us believe that they understand the industry’s interests better than the industry itself does. ‘Don’t those dummies know they can SELL the methane that we force them to capture!’
Before this year, the only time Congress successfully used the review act to repeal a regulation was in 2001, when it blocked the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration from enforcing an ergonomics rule intended to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace.
Sixteen years later, wounds are still open for some officials who helped write that rule…
Still butthurt after sixteen years!!
Jordan Barab, who had worked on the ergonomics rule, fought to save it when he moved to the AFL-CIO after the 2000 election.
Wait, this guy makes a regulation that benefits Big Labor, and then takes a job with…the AFL-CIO. And didn’t we just see above that the lady who did the environmental rule took a job with…the National Wildlife Federation? Gee, it’s almost as if they’re already working for the interest group while still on the government job.
Pizarchik is already working on ideas to write a new version of the stream rule under a future president, though he declined to share any details.
Presidents come and go, but the bureaucracy is eternal.
He also hinted someone could mount a constitutional challenge to the review act itself, which critics have long argued tramples on the separation of powers.
“I believe there’s a good chance that, in a legal challenge, that a court will overturn Congress’ actions here as an unconstitutional usurpation of the executive branch’s powers,” he said.
Who knows what some hack Democrat judge might someday decide, but only in a bizarro, anti-matter, parallel universe is it unconstitutional for laws to be written by the legislative branch rather than the executive.