If you are hoping that a Republican presidency will reverse the Environmental Protection Agency's overreach, largely the result of arguably lawless regulations, know that it likely won't happen without a fight.
EPA head Gina McCarthy says that, no matter who is president, the EPA will continue along its current path. Government Executive magazine reports:
McCarthy said her regulations are “grounded in the law.”
"The one thing I know more than any other agency is EPA's rules get scrutinized like no other,” the administrator said this week, as reported by The Washington Examiner. “They would have to go to that same level of scrutiny by any president should there be a reverse in direction.”
To follow through on [GOP candidates'] promises to undo virtually every regulation the EPA has issued in the last seven years would require a drawn out legal battle, she said. You would need a clear record to establish that or you will be working through the court system for a very long time," McCarthy said. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.
She added the rules were based in authority granted by Congress.
“They're not decisions that a president can come in and express an opinion and have those decisions go away,” McCarthy explained.
This is a pure expression of a recent development in our government: the government within government. Bureaucrats preside over these internal governments. They are an expression of the rule by diktat. As Hot Air points out, McCarthy doesn't have knowledge of how our traditional system of law works:
Given McCarthy’s lifelong service in appointed civil service positions after getting her B.A. in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, she really hasn’t had much direct experience in elected office and the operations of the legislature, so it’s perhaps forgivable if she really doesn’t quite understand how all of this works. First of all, while extra-legislative, executive branch decrees certainly carry the unfortunate weight of “laws” they are most certainly not laws in the conventional sense of the word. They are not voted on by representatives of the people and exist at the whim of the President and his appointees. There are indeed frequent challenges against them in the courts and sometimes they are batted down, but nobody ever goes to court demanding that new ones be put in place.
Further, they have theoretical expiration dates which last precisely as long as their supporters hold the executive branch. They are rules which are regularly changed and will be changed again when the White House is no longer held by someone of a like mind. Putting these rules in place generally involves lengthy periods of hearings and public comment, but as we saw with the Keystone Pipeline, that’s all window dressing for the public and the White House will wind up doing what it wants in the end anyway. There is no need for a court order or a vote in Congress for the new director of the EPA and the next President to table or entirely cancel any existing rules.
Of course if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is the next president, McCarthy's regulations will remain in place for a long time. She will not have a legal leg to stand on if a Republican is elected–but her bravado is an example of just how government bureaucrats think today.
It should also be noted that, if a Republican president did not take strong action, the EPA as a government within government will be allowed to flourish and grow. This, as much as the pernicious regulations, is a threat to our form of government.