Know your enemy: the environmental regulator.

Reg01

If you work in an industry and gain a reputation for being one of the more knowledgeable people knocking around in it, you’ll eventually be asked to attend external meetings to discuss things like standards or simply to represent the particular sector you are working in. They’re usually useful if only because you can share ideas and make a few informal contacts.

One of those periodic meetings ended up with me working within a regulatory organisation for a period of time. Most regulators are keen to have practitioners on board who have a breath of real experience in the industry, because they’ve usually got too many people who’ve got very little and really don’t understand what intelligent regulation is all about. There is a tricky balance which has to be struck by any regulator between not stifling the growth of an industry and yet protecting it and the consumer from its own excesses.

I’ve seen a senior head of department at a top table meeting get reminded rather forcefully by the chief executive that their job was to stabilise the industry rather than mount a crusade to close it down. That creeping tendency to control rather than regulate, is by now rampant in the regulatory agencies dealing with the environment.

Like all systemic rot in any organisation, it always starts from the top. Political appointees are put in place to head them up and their subordinates naturally take their cue from them. If the CEO is determined to cripple an industry, then that’s the direction that the regulations will take. This situation is further compounded by them recruiting like-minded people, because a pervasive cronyism always goes hand in hand with bad management situations.

The reason such political beasts with their own stealth agendas are put in control, is to draft regulations which effectively implement legislation that wouldn’t stand a chance of making it through the legislative body of the particular country. For instance, the Kyoto protocol and Cap and Trade legislation were comprehensively rejected by the US Congress because they were rightly perceived as effectively closing down all heavy industry. By appointing the appropriate person to be in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the same effect could be achieved without any further reference to Congress.

This is quite simply a circumvention of the whole democratic process, especially when it’s combined with things such as presidential executive orders, requiring no approval from an elected legislature.

The previous EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson resigned over questions raised because of her email correspondence on official business using a false email address. A lot of frankly unbelievable excuses were given for such a blatantly suspect practice by a government employee but the obvious explanation is that she was actively trying to circumvent FOIA disclosure requests. I’ll leave it to you to speculate about why and with whom the use of such an underhand method of communications was necessary. As I’ve said, the rot goes downward from there; at least two of her subordinates were subsequently found to be doing exactly the same thing.

But that sort of rot permeates down even further to the minor officials and it becomes an unthinking bunker mind-set. A regional administrator of the EPA didn’t see any problem in admitting on camera that the EPA’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies. When the video came to light, he of course was encouraged to fall on his sword and was quickly reemployed by a green pressure organisation.

The EPA is by now a thoroughly corrupted regulatory institution. The classic way that usually happened was when a regulator became a self-perpetuating organisation by simply framing more and more intricate regulations, because it guaranteed a living irrespective of the effect such rules had on the industry they were intended to regulate.

What’s new about the EPA and similar organisations around the world, is that it’s on its own political crusade, which is why American heavy industry and it are at daggers drawn. The obvious intent is that heavy industry is to be subsumed under a deluge of painfully detailed regulations, which are well-nigh impossible to meet in any cost-effective manner. It’s spawned a whole new profession in commerce that goes under the generic title of a compliance officer, whose job is to become familiar with and find a way through a labyrinth of ever-changing rules.

The EPA is the most extreme case but the same phenomenon is apparent around the world and at times it looks nothing more than spiteful officialdom picking on businesses or individuals they don’t like. An appalling example of that is the treatment of the Thompson family, whose successful business was forced to close by DEC, the Australian equivalent of the EPA, simply because they’d publically expressed scepticism about global warming.

One of the causes I’d never envisioned having to pursue on this blog was the growth of fuel poverty in the developed world. Beyond estimates by various charitable organisations, hard numbers are difficult to come by. The only government organisation I can find who publish official statistics on it is the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). They publish the figures every summer and not only are they three years in arrears but when discussing the reasons behind the rocketing trend, never once mention the effect of rising green taxes on power bills to subsidise the renewables industry.

When a regulator is being that deceptive by omission, then even the numbers furnished by them on such a politically sensitive issue have to be suspect, especially as they have also just decided to change the official definition of what constitutes fuel poverty to something much more vague, the net effect of which will be to magically remove over a million families from fuel poverty at the wave of a bureaucratic wand. It’s just a pity that it doesn’t remove the preventable cold-related deaths as well.

The essential problem is that these regulatory organisations are not only headed up and run by people on a righteous crusade to save the planet but also the influential input to them comes from environmental pressure groups and not industry, hence the need for quasi-legal things like covert communication channels using phony email personas. In passing, when I use the term persona, rather than just email address, I mean they had two login accounts in their systems. This is proved, don’t laugh, by Lisa Jackson passing an online ethics course logged in under her alias. Her alter ego of Richard Windsor got the certificate, not her.

This wholly inappropriate relationship is graphically illustrated by a cynical trick called sue and settle. An environmental pressure group mounts a law suit against the regulator to get an extreme interpretation of the rules enforced and the regulator promptly folds with nothing more than a token fight. It’s just a comfortable charade being played out by both parties, which was worked out well beforehand and gives the regulator a bone fide excuse for setting the most onerous regulations possible.

Criminally negligent government energy policies over power generation, combined with draconian regulatory regimes determined to close down coal generation capacity, will result in blackouts within the next few years, simply because there’s no viable replacement. The result of that will be the shutdown of manufacturing or its flight to other countries, who don’t have an intermittent third world power supply.

The effect of that catastrophe will be felt well outside manufacturing. Apart from the domestic misery it’ll cause, what business nowadays can function without computers or phones or indeed anything electrical?

Something will have to be done, as they say, but looking around for any political will to do something about the situation coming at us, I fear that’ll only happen when we’ve already hit the wall.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

Click here for all articles in the know your enemy series.

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I’m not a scientist but …

Politicians, thieves and those greedy pigs in between.

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Comments
12 Responses to “Know your enemy: the environmental regulator.”
  1. Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    Climate Change Is Not The Problem – Energy Poverty Is
    The elite bureaucrats in the Obama Administration use the Climate Change Scam to make the poor poorer and the rich richer. President Obama’s crony green capitalists get billions of tax payer dollars poured into their failed green energy businesses like Soylndra. The bureaucrats in the EPA get higher salaries. The poor get shafted with “skyrocketing” energy prices.

  2. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    Thank you for highlighting the story of the Thompson family in your graphic exposure of the realities of Government Regulation. Their heartbreak is one instance of many lives and opportunities destroyed by this Green Fraud. Bureaucracies are inherently heartless in their dealings with the lives of hardworking people, but in the Labor/Green administration of Australia today there is an element of vindictive spite and callous disregard that we would once never have believed possible. Today, nothing surprises us.

    There have been many hare-brained Green Schemes implemented under the Rudd/Gillard Labor Governments in recent years which have resulted in dire consequences for thousands of people, the worst being a ‘free’ insulation batts program which killed four young men; three electrocuted and one who died of heatstroke in a roofspace on a 40C day.

    Another was the Green Loans Scheme, a nonsensical program that demanded every home and business premises be assessed for its compliance with Green Regulations on environmental and ‘sustainability’ criteria. To me it smacked of Agenda 21 – a modern era Doomsday Book that set the nation up for even greater intrusive Regulation of every facet of every person’s home and business.

    A young war veteran, Robert Rice, fell foul of this program and this is his story …..

    http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2013/07/rob-rice-afghanistan-veteran-has-some-unfinished-business-with-kevin-rudd-over-the-failed-and-dumped.html#comments

    The best part of this disaster was that Robert, who sold his war medals to keep a roof over his family’s heads, had them retrieved and returned to him by the generous donations of radio listeners whose common sentiment was – “Screw the government, we’ll take care of this ourselves.”

    In the scheme of things it was a small victory, but indicative of the only recourse we have – each other, and our solidarity against this creeping Green Fascism.

    Since Labor came to power in 2007 almost 9,000 items of Regulation have been implemented, never debated in Parliament, rarely noticed by the MSM and completely unknown to the people or to Business until they fall foul of it, or some weedy little bureaucrat pounces on the infringement and makes someone else’s life a misery.

    A few weeks ago Kevin Rudd pulled Gillard’s knife out of his own back and slipped it between her ribs thereby getting his old job as Prime Minister again. We can only hope that no other KRudd Green brain farts are implemented before a Federal election in a few months time and we get a chance to toss them all off the Gravy Train.

  3. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    Surely my left-leaning friends and progressives can see the immediate, present, currently effective harm being caused by over regulation of just about everything. It is not the right-leaning legislators who are trying to make us drink dirty water. It is the left-leaning regulators and green activists who are freezing our grandparents to death every winter. EPA is the most dangerous thing known to man. It will kill or enslave us all. That is not figurative. The regulators are having their way, and their way makes slaves of us and kills those of us who simply don’t have the money to overcome the costs of the regulations. Righteous Cause corruption is hard to detect and even harder to overcome when you are corrupted.

  4. Pointman, this is an excellent summary of the gameboard. Well done. Matt and I appreciate you using our story to give shape to the problem. I would also like to bring to your readers’ attention the following.

    Most people (and that included us!) assume that the judicial branch of government is our backstop…the pristine halls of justice in which the scales of right versus might balance in a fair hearing of the facts. So when things fall apart legislatively or regulators get out of hand (ala Lisa Jackson), we can find reprieve in the arms of Lady Justice.

    Unfortunately, we have come to realise that the court system is the first branch of government to be corrupted. We found that the dark-green web had been (over a long period of time) intricately, carefully and strongly spun throughout the legal profession, from which judges then rise. (Note to US residents: fight to maintain the jury system!)

    The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) was the group that targeted us. I believe their equivalent in the States is the Environmental Defense Fund.

    Up-and-coming young lawyers (well, all lawyers, but especially up-and-coming ones!) must donate their time to defending the environment. The attorney general of Western Australia (during the time of our fight) was honored publicly by EDO for his tireless work for the environment. Jean-Pierre Clement, the Appeals Convenor of the Department of Environment and Conservation (who, hilariously, was to investigate our complaint against DEC), was very involved in EDO. The “Environmental Attorney,” Johannes Schoombe, that our lawyers encouraged us to hire back in early 2008, we later found out was the original convenor of EDO. Every judge that we came before, we found out after the fact, was involved in EDO. Our real case was never heard. The judges and lawyers kept us diverted with legal pre-game games. It was expensive, time consuming, frustrating and in-vain.

    It was as though our direct enemy had painted a lovely and very realistic facade on a huge building. We paid to get into the building, believing it contained the path to justice. Every room in the nice building, though, was occupied and controlled by the enemy.

    In every circumstance, whatever the story, in whatever field of endeavour, I encourage people to think outside the box. Do not rely upon the lovely imagery presented in 8th grade Civics class.

    As for the industry people who are playing along with the EDOs and Environmental Defense Funds of the world, might I remind you: the more you feed others to the crocodile, the larger and hungrier that croc gets. You’ll be on his menu eventually.

    Pointman, thanks again. We have chosen to live a happy and productive life, but we still speak and work to make people aware of this Dark Green Monster. People like you give us a renewed energy in that vein. Kudos.

    Warm Regards,
    Janet

    • meltemian says:

      Janet, We’ve all heard about the terrible problems you’ve had and I’m really pleased you’ve managed to make a new life for yourselves. I know lots of us tried to help out in the only way we could but it could never be enough to make up for the wilful destruction of your lives. Please believe we will keep bringing attention to the unbelievable way you have been treated at every possible opportunity.
      I sincerely wish you and Matt the very best for the future.

    • Pointman says:

      Hello and welcome Janet. I think Meltemian expressed the sentiments of most readers here.

      A negative experience like you’ve had with a Kafkaesque bureaucracy is never a pleasant thing, but having the grace to itemise the lessons learned from it in order to help others out is admirable.

      If there’s anything I can usefully do to aid you and Matt, please let me know.

      Best regards

      P

    • Blackswan says:

      Hello Janet, your story is one of so many good people whose lives have been blighted by the corruption inherent in our Administration. Your words of caution regarding our Judiciary are timely, because many other instances are now coming to light of cronyism, nepotism and outright corruption in the hallowed Halls of Justice.

      Such a travesty could never have succeeded if our Mainstream Media were not similarly compromised by the same influences.

      For example, how many are aware that our recently ousted Prime Minister Gillard is currently under criminal investigation by the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad for her activities as a lawyer twenty years ago in the theft of over a million dollars or that our current Prime Minister Rudd, as a Labor Chief of Staff twenty years ago, was involved in the shredding of evidence required for investigation into the abuse of children in State Care?

      There are no ‘Woodward & Bernsteins’ in our media pack and our ‘Deep Throats’ have been strangled by fear and intimidation.

      Sadly, it isn’t only Green issues that are weighted so heavily on the Scales of Justice in Australia. Lady Justice is not only blind, she has also been hog-tied. We need Grand Juries and RICO laws to weed out the entrenched corruption in our system but the foxes who currently run the henhouse will never allow it.

      I’m very sorry that your Australian Odyssey caused so much grief and it’s good to know you and your family are starting over. Best wishes to you all.

      • Meltemian, Pointman and Blackswan, thanks for your kind words and for your hard work for truth. There is not now nor has there ever been any doubt in my mind that awesome Aussies will continue to fight the good fight. Our story is what it is. If it can be used in the fight, that’s fantastic. But you must know that Matt and I treasure our decade down under and have no regrets. We are rich in experience, friendships, and each other. What more could one ask in life?

        Blackswan, your comment on the media is apropo. Methinks there are very good investigative journalists out there, but one must go to the Internet to find them. The decentralized nature of the Net scares our control freak zoo keepers immensely. I find that amusing and satisfying. :-)

  5. Old woman of the north says:

    It’s time that Atlas Shrugged was brought back onto the High School reading list. The productive ones are going to fold their tents and steal away, leaving the rest to starve because all production has been closed down.

  6. Pointman says:

    Unions protest EPA regulations causing coal plant closings

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/15/unions-protest-epa-regulations-causing-coal-plant-closings/

    In the midst of the worst recession in living memory, regulated out of existence – jobs and work that is …

    Pointman

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