Author Topic: Trump's EPA Pick  (Read 10317 times)

yossarian22c

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Trump's EPA Pick
« on: December 08, 2016, 08:05:27 AM »
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/07/503626660/trump-reportedly-picks-oklahoma-attorney-general-scott-pruitt-to-lead-epa

It bothers me when Republicans specifically appoint people to head agencies that they don't believe should exist (or do the job they are tasked with doing).  I guess it gives them good material to run on in the next election about how ineffective and poorly functioning the federal government is.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2016, 08:15:30 AM »
Ben Carson for HUD ... I hear you. Still, it's kind of hard to beat Alright for Secstate. But that's hindsight for you.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 10:49:27 AM »
I will play devil's advocate on this one. When you say that they shouldn't do the job they are tasked with doing, I think the response would be that they have expanded their actions beyond the job they should be doing.

In the specific case, the whole hullabaloo is about climate change and what to do about it. The EPA was created in 1970 because of toxins and poisons in the air and water. Legislation like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act made clear what they were doing was aligned with legislative mandate.

More recently, there has been lots of activity on climate change and greenhouse gas emission taken by the EPA. There is, however, no Greenhouse Gas Act or Climate Change Act to suggest they should be doing so. In fact, the Climate Protection Act was sponsored by Bernie Sanders and introduced in 2013, but never made committee.

Isn't there a valid argument here, that sparked the lawsuit that included Pruitt, that the EPA is just making up rules that exceed its authority? And that appointing someone who would roll back that portion of the agenda is appropriate?

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2016, 11:00:20 AM »
Cdc yes.  Epa, no.  Especially when you consider that constitutionally speaking, a ratified treaty is legislation per se.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 11:16:37 AM »
Which treaty? I know that the Paris agreement was committed to in September, but bypassed the constitutional power of the Senate to ratify treaties. And the text of the agreement is a wishy-washy "should" rather than "shall" in any event. It appears not to be legally binding according to some interpretations, while still having some support in process.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/paris-agreement-climate-change-legitimate-exercise-executive-agreement-power

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 11:16:51 AM »
Your argument might have some merit if Pruitt were merely a climate change skeptic, Drake.  But he went beyond that as Oklahoma Attorney General.

Quote
Since becoming Oklahoma’s top legal officer in 2011, Pruitt has sued the EPA to stop vital protections for public health – including standards for reducing soot and smog pollution that crosses interstate lines; protections against emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxic pollutants from power plants; and standards to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas.

If the EPA has no business regulating smog, mercury, arsenic, and acid pollutants, what should it regulate?  Perhaps it should all be left up to the states, and the states should just make sure their smog doesn't cross state lines. ;)

The one good thing is the reason we know about his attitude.  People can sue the EPA to force them to protect the environment.  If Pruitt is confirmed, expect a large uptick in suits against the EPA to make them do their job.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 11:23:25 AM »
The one good thing is the reason we know about his attitude.  People can sue the EPA to force them to protect the environment.  If Pruitt is confirmed, expect a large uptick in suits against the EPA to make them do their job.

Oh. Like getting Obama to enforce Immigration Law?

TheDrake

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2016, 11:25:35 AM »
Good information, Wayward. I didn't see those details in most of the mainline recent articles.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2016, 11:27:57 AM »
Which treaty? I know that the Paris agreement was committed to in September, but bypassed the constitutional power of the Senate to ratify treaties. And the text of the agreement is a wishy-washy "should" rather than "shall" in any event. It appears not to be legally binding according to some interpretations, while still having some support in process.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/paris-agreement-climate-change-legitimate-exercise-executive-agreement-power

Doesn't this fall in a grey area? Constitution does give treaties a great amount of power, but I was under the impression it assumed ratification of said treaties by the Senate? Of course, if the Senate never bothers to give the treaty an up/down vote...

ZOMG UNDEMOCRATIC PROCESS, WYOMING HAS TOO MUCH POWER IN DIPLOMATIC AFFAIRS COMPARED TO CALIFORNIA.  :o  ::)

Edit: Ok, helps to read the article. So it's basically "an executive agreement" which puts it on the order an executive order, rather than an actual treaty. Even though it actually is an International Treaty. I guess this is a legal issue Congress and the President alike may want to address in the next 4 years, in particular, ensuring that future "exercises of existing executive authority" don't bind us to an International Agreement with no exit clause.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 11:39:39 AM by TheDeamon »

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2016, 11:41:34 AM »
The one good thing is the reason we know about his attitude.  People can sue the EPA to force them to protect the environment.  If Pruitt is confirmed, expect a large uptick in suits against the EPA to make them do their job.

Oh. Like getting Obama to enforce Immigration Law?

Probably more, Daemon.  I suspect that Pruitt, if confirmed, will be less lawful than Obama ever was. :)

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2016, 11:53:57 AM »
Having seen hispanic clients deported, and being barred from seeing one while he was tortured 24 hours into signing forms allowing deportation without a hearing, I think Obama's supposed easiness with immigration is one of many points where both parties collaborate in a big lie to protect the status quo.

Seriati

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2016, 12:05:36 PM »
I find it interesting that anyone would dispute the expansion of authority that the EPA has assumed.  Obama expanded their authority from effectively navigable water to any water sitting anywhere without any expansion of their authority by Congress.  They have specifically ignored their duty to balance the costs of regulations against their benefits.  They have adopted standards in some cases that are aspirational and exceed the level of technology we have.  They've also made use of collusion with activists who file suits against the EPA, which they  "settle" with agreements that exceed what they could have done with regulation.  The EPA is pretty much a flagship for the abuse of regulatory process.  Congress, not bureaucrats controlled by the executive, is supposed to be the sole law making authority of the government. 

As to the fake treaties that have been pursued with Executive Orders and other presidential agreements, if I was advising Trump I would tell him to declare them unconstitutional treaties that required Senate consent to be enforceable, and submit them en masse to the Senate for their advice and consent.  Unwinds more than one problem at once.

D.W.

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2016, 12:26:47 PM »
And create another problem at the same time.  Skip the declare them unconstitutional part and get on with the changing things if that's the goal.  Rubbing the former president's nose in it is just posturing.  (and invites them to defend and contest the accusation)

TheDrake

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2016, 12:35:29 PM »
Regarding the "fakeness" of treaties, executive action without advice and consent has been recognized for quite some time. It really took off around WW2. If you are interested in exploring in more depth, I'd refer you to my link which explores this in depth. Whether this most recent one is acceptable is beside the fact. If Trump were to roll back all such agreements, it would be chaos. There are 17,000 of them, roughly speaking.

A deep historical background can be found here:

https://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/9780472116874-ch1.pdf


Seriati

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2016, 03:17:25 PM »
That's the beauty of my plan, submitting them to the Senate leaves it up to the Senate to endorse or reject them.  Not a one of them has to be declared void.  It's the process that is unconstitutional (ie the President binding the country in a treaty without Senate approval), not the resulting agreement terms.  Would be fun, on the other hand, as you suspect it would be incredibly disruptive.

D.W.

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2016, 03:59:19 PM »
Ya, being held accountable for actually making a decision on something important would be disruptive.  :)

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2016, 09:20:17 PM »
This just in, Trump appoints fast food exec to head the labor department. 

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2016, 09:29:38 PM »
This just in, Trump appoints fast food exec to head the labor department.

Beat me to it.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38258714

Scary face!


JoshCrow

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2016, 09:37:04 PM »
I couldn't make some of these appointments up... they're so funny. It's almost like he's going out of his way to troll Democrats. One wonders if Trump really actually thinks America is in terrible shape and he should "do the opposite" or something... I thought that was just campaign rhetoric.
Ben Carson for HUD? A fast food guy for Labor? An anti-climate-science guy for the EPA? And a parade of generals that would make North Korea jealous. You know, where they actually have parades of generals.

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2016, 09:58:06 PM »
Carson for HUD is turning out to be the reasonable pick b/c to my knowledge he isn't a slum lord nor has he sued HUD for providing housing to people.  That puts him two steps above his competition.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2016, 10:08:38 PM »
Carson for HUD is turning out to be the reasonable pick b/c to my knowledge he isn't a slum lord nor has he sued HUD for providing housing to people.  That puts him two steps above his competition.

Carson should have been Surgeon General.  There he could have made a brilliant difference. In HUD, he's kind of a Republican bootstrap live and let die type.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2016, 10:10:16 PM »
I couldn't make some of these appointments up... they're so funny. It's almost like he's going out of his way to troll Democrats. One wonders if Trump really actually thinks America is in terrible shape and he should "do the opposite" or something... I thought that was just campaign rhetoric.
Ben Carson for HUD? A fast food guy for Labor? An anti-climate-science guy for the EPA? And a parade of generals that would make North Korea jealous. You know, where they actually have parades of generals.

I'm still not discounting the Hillary straw man theory.  Depends on who stacked the electoral college.

D.W.

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2016, 09:36:33 AM »
I couldn't make some of these appointments up... they're so funny. It's almost like he's going out of his way to troll Democrats. One wonders if Trump really actually thinks America is in terrible shape and he should "do the opposite" or something... I thought that was just campaign rhetoric.
Ben Carson for HUD? A fast food guy for Labor? An anti-climate-science guy for the EPA? And a parade of generals that would make North Korea jealous. You know, where they actually have parades of generals.

I'm still not discounting the Hillary straw man theory.  Depends on who stacked the electoral college.
I hear ya Pete.  If I was trying my best to throw away a win and still cry foul when it all goes down; it would look an awful lot like this.  :)

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2016, 11:13:35 AM »
I couldn't make some of these appointments up... they're so funny. It's almost like he's going out of his way to troll Democrats. One wonders if Trump really actually thinks America is in terrible shape and he should "do the opposite" or something... I thought that was just campaign rhetoric.
Ben Carson for HUD? A fast food guy for Labor? An anti-climate-science guy for the EPA? And a parade of generals that would make North Korea jealous. You know, where they actually have parades of generals.

I'm still not discounting the Hillary straw man theory.  Depends on who stacked the electoral college.

Well, just remember Pete, even if Trump was a Democrat mole, the Republicans were still the ones who elected him. :)

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2016, 12:12:28 PM »
I couldn't make some of these appointments up... they're so funny. It's almost like he's going out of his way to troll Democrats. One wonders if Trump really actually thinks America is in terrible shape and he should "do the opposite" or something... I thought that was just campaign rhetoric.
Ben Carson for HUD? A fast food guy for Labor? An anti-climate-science guy for the EPA? And a parade of generals that would make North Korea jealous. You know, where they actually have parades of generals.

I'm still not discounting the Hillary straw man theory.  Depends on who stacked the electoral college.

Well, just remember Pete, even if Trump was a Democrat mole, the Republicans were still the ones who elected him. :)

Voted for him, you mean.  Remains to be seen if he was elected

JoshCrow

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2016, 01:12:32 PM »
And today it's Rick Perry for Energy! Rick Perry! Holy crap... this is so funny. He really IS picking people who hate the agencies they're being tapped for. I suspect this means we'll see each of these aspects of government slowly dissolved from within.

I am increasingly getting the sense that Trump himself has little to do with these appointments (and that in fact he couldn't care less about them), so he's letting Pence or other operatives make all the calls and he's rubber-stamping.

D.W.

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2016, 01:24:37 PM »
If he had run on a platform of small government by any means necessary... Then I'd be less confused.

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2016, 01:51:31 PM »
What were Perry's 3 (oops 2) agencies that should be eliminated?

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2016, 10:52:34 PM »
Quick Run down here:
EPA - Guy who sues the EPA for regulating mercury and other emissions from coal plants that go into the atmosphere and cross state lines.
DoE - Former presidential candidate who know so little about the DoE that he couldn't even remember it as one of the government agencies he wanted to close.
Labor - Fast food executive who has sued the labor department for granting those pesky workers too many rights.
HuD - Former presidential candidate who has no experience in housing and urban development or running anything larger than an operating room.
State - Exxon CEO who has friend of Russia status (literally).  Oddly the former oil executive may be the most progressive on energy policy of all trumps picks.

I just hope the government is harder to tear down than Trump thinks.  Stuff always takes longer to build than destroy.

rightleft22

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2016, 09:10:23 AM »
Quote
What Kind of world do you want
Think Anything
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece

History Starts Now

Be careful what you wish for
Start Now

Seriati

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2016, 09:24:02 AM »
This just in, Trump appoints fast food exec to head the labor department.

Picking someone who has massive experience in dealing with low wage workers.  How odd.

Have you looked at the list of the past Secretary's of Labor?  It's "murderer's row" of career bureaucrats and politicians, many of whom (not all) never had a meaningful private sector job or hired or employed anyone.  Is there some reason to think that if your goal is to make American businesses competitive again, to make it less desirable to outsource, that someone whose intimately aware of the true of costs of American regulations and employee costs wouldn't be helpful?

I have no idea if he'll have helpful policy positions in the end.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2016, 09:30:51 AM »
DoE - Former presidential candidate who know so little about the DoE that he couldn't even remember it as one of the government agencies he wanted to close.

DoE is one of the "gotcha" acronyms for government groups though. He may have been had by the whole Department of Education / Department of Energy thing and got stuck in "that can't be right" mode and just further confused himself while speaking off the cuff.

Although between the two, I'd sooner go after Education than Energy. A lot more fat to be found in Education at the federal level. Energy is doing a lot of good solid Physics research(In particular on the nuclear side), but it does have issues of its own. Not much to cut, or rather, not much that can be cut from DoE at this point, either because the projects are tied to Nuclear Site cleanups, or it's tied in DoD or other "national security interests" although I know plenty of libertarian types who think DoEnergy shouldn't exist at all.

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2016, 09:53:13 AM »
DoE - Former presidential candidate who know so little about the DoE that he couldn't even remember it as one of the government agencies he wanted to close.

DoE is one of the "gotcha" acronyms for government groups though. He may have been had by the whole Department of Education / Department of Energy thing and got stuck in "that can't be right" mode and just further confused himself while speaking off the cuff.

You call a planned line during a Presidential debate speaking off the cuff?  I suppose it wasn't speaking from a teleprompter but I would consider that far from speaking off the cuff.

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2016, 09:55:29 AM »
I'm sure it would be much less desirable to outsource if companies could just pay Americans third world wages, work people 80 hours a week, and polluted our land and waterways.  I certainly hope we come up with a better solution to keeping jobs than racing to the bottom in terms of environmental and labor standards. 

Seriati

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2016, 10:04:30 AM »
That's a fascinating response yossarian22c and says a lot to me about why the DoL isn't able to do its actual job of balancing worker rights and needs and employer rights and needs. 

rightleft22

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2016, 01:21:15 PM »
Based on the picks I think we can expect short term economic gain at the cost of future generation pain.

Looking at these men I don’t get the impression of public service and suspect that like Trump most have believe, if sub-consciously, that what benefits them must benefit everyone.

I’m willing to bet that all the men involved leave office much richer then they entered

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2016, 02:35:24 PM »
Many of them are Billionaires or multi-Millionaires, even if they turned their stuff over to a blind trust, short of crashing the economy, or dumping their own money into public projects(lol at the odds of that), they're going to be hard pressed to lose money. If they grow the economy at a decent clip, it's almost guaranteed they're going to come out of things very well off, even when compared to their starting point.

rightleft22

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2016, 02:46:53 PM »
True. Never having a billion dollars I find it hard to relate. I don't see a point in having that much money to be honest and if I had it why I would keep working for more, which is probably a reason I'm not financially successful

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2016, 06:53:24 PM »
Based on the picks I think we can expect short term economic gain at the cost of future generation pain.

Looking at these men I don’t get the impression of public service and suspect that like Trump most have believe, if sub-consciously, that what benefits them must benefit everyone.

I’m willing to bet that all the men involved leave office much richer then they entered

The US has the most business friendly worker laws of the developed world.  I don't know what imbalance you see there, my boss could walk up to me and fire me for no cause and it be perfectly legal unless I could prove it was because I was part of a protected class.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2016, 10:21:04 PM »
The US has the most business friendly worker laws of the developed world.  I don't know what imbalance you see there, my boss could walk up to me and fire me for no cause and it be perfectly legal unless I could prove it was because I was part of a protected class.

If you're a member of such a "protected class" trying to fire you is a very dangerous proposition. Something they're not going to do until or unless they've crossed every T, and dotted every I, and then had someone verify it, and then sent it off to a third party to provide independent verification that everything is in order. 

Unless we're talking about a small "mom and pop" type operation, in which case they may just fire you, and then they'll probably have a chance to find out why other employers are so cautious about firing a member of "the protected class" if that person decides to pursue it.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump's EPA Pick
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2016, 09:38:26 AM »
True about the US. You get to fire somebody more or less when you want to, unless there is an exception. Canada, UK, and New Zealand are actually quite close also.

http://www.oecd.org/els/emp/oecdindicatorsofemploymentprotection.htm

At the top on the other side? Venezuela, India, China.

But the labor department isn't passing legislation, it is enforcing existing regulation. Things like catching people violating OSHA regulations, minimum wage, overtime, etc.

Just because somebody doesn't want to raise the minimum wage doesn't mean they won't enforce the laws on the books.

They do have the power to make some rules. Recently, they added restrictions on which workers can be declared exempt from overtime rules, adding labor cost for five million workers. This all stemmed from an executive memorandum directing Perez to do so. Currently, a federal judge has blocked the implementation of that rule. It is also possible for congress to veto it under CRA.

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/flsa-overtime-rule-resources.aspx

CRA was last used to block ergonomic regulations in 2001. As a libertarian, I'm delighted in the choice for labor secretary. Deciding whether to be salaried or hourly should be a point of negotiation for the employer and employee.

BTW, that economic bill for the ergonomic rule would have been $4.5 billion per year as estimated by OSHA. Workers experiencing MSD health issues are already covered under workers compensation laws.