Support H.R. 861 to Abolish the EPA

Support H.R. 861 to Abolish the EPA
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been bedeviling Americans since 1970. Many have felt the sting of its steep fines, heavy costs to comply with questionable edicts, and occasional shutdowns of factories whose owners simply throw in the towel. “It’s all worth it,” say most environmentalists. “We’ve got to have clean air and clean water, and if there are casualties along the way, so be it.”

H.R. 861 has been introduced to abolish the EPA (Image from Wikimedia Commons, photo by Casey Deshong, FEMA Photo Library).

Perhaps the most common attitude expressed by determined environmentalists is that, like it or not, EPA’s laws have to be obeyed. Add to that the oft-repeated claim “once a law is on the books, everyone must comply.”

But there’s a fundamental problem underlying this thinking. It is that the EPA didn’t result from a properly enacted law passed by Congress, a route required by the very first sentence in the U.S. Constitution. This regularly ignored dictum states, “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States….” If you understand the meaning of “all,” you can readily see that the constitutional intent left no openings for other ways to make law. The EPA’s birth didn’t arise through use of congressional law-making power. It resulted from a December 2, 1970, Executive Order penned by President Richard Nixon.

Congress had already passed legislation known as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Then came the EPA. Once in the books via the Nixon executive order, the EPA (a swiftly growing federal bureaucracy) took over enforcement of those measures. The agency’s reach has grown exponentially over the years. In the mid-1970s, a U.S. Steel plant in Indiana faced enormous EPA-promulgated fines and chose to close down with the loss of 500 jobs. Kennecott and Consolidated Copper also closed down for similar reasons. Numerous other firms did likewise. Where fines had to be paid to call off the dogs of the EPA, some companies raised their prices and passed along those additional expenses to the general population.

The EPA then targeted the automobile industry. EPA lover Al Gore (who almost became President via the 2000 election) chimed with his astounding 1992 book Earth in the Balance. Among other excesses, it called for “completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a 25-year period.” That means automobiles and trucks. Gore still uses both.

In 1989, Stanford University Professor Stephen Schneider, an EPA cheerleader, spoke of the “ethical” problem surrounding any defense of environmental claims. He addressed the need to get some “broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination.” How to do that? He stated:

So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

The EPA started its crusade with arbitrary dictates regarding air and water. It then spread into issuing rules regarding land use, endangered species, waste disposal, radiation, and supposed global warming (now termed “climate change”). By 2016, the EPA had 15,376 employees and an annual budget of $8 billion. It continues to grow.

To counter all of this, freshman Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has introduced H.R. 861, a measure seeking total abolition of the EPA. His entire bill, a single sentence, reads: “The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” A former veteran state legislator, he claims to have had “a front row seat to the failures of the federal government in protecting the environment.” Noting that “the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats,” he proposes that there’s no need whatsoever for the EPA and sensible environmental protection should be handled at state and local levels.

H.R. 861 deserves support in Congress and among the American people, especially those who believe in a government limited by the U.S. Constitution.

Take action by calling your representative (202-225-3121) and senators (202-224-3121) to cosponsor this bill to abolish the unconstitutional Environmental Protection Agency. 

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.

5 Comments on “Support H.R. 861 to Abolish the EPA”

  1. Frank M Pelteson says:

    Protecting the environment is Marxist-talk for killing the people. The endgame is to close down all carbon-emitting power plants and all atomic power stations so that no energy is generated, except the puny sun and wind power. This will bring about the end of all civilization, with people dying on the ground, much like what was described in James Bacque’s book “Other Losses,” Eisenhower’s punishment of disarmed surrendered German soldiers by forcing them to sit on the ground with no food and no shelter in death camp fields. See for more.


  2. Douglas Logan says:

    John, you did it again, a superb article. You have made enough impression on me that I am going to work tirelessly to get rid of this “unconstitutional” Agency that was even voted on by Congress. Thank you!


  3. Ben Kennedy says:

    Here is the problem with Federal Politicians. Their sense of immunity is revolting to me. Dear Mr. Kennedy,

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

    As you know, the EPA is responsible for the regulation of air and water quality, toxic substances, the management of hazardous wastes, and the cleanup of environmental contaminations. I recognize the need to ensure the sustainability of our environment and to protect the vast natural resources with which our nation has been blessed. We must be sure to balance those priorities and economic development. Please be assured I will keep your thoughts in mind should any relevant legislation come before the Senate for consideration.

    Again, thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to represent you in the United States Senate.

    Todd Young
    United States Senator Then my reply to him: It is not complicated. Terminate the EPA and return those issues to the States themselves. Indiana is better suited to regulate Indiana that some political appointee from a Federal Bureaucracy, far removed from our State Line or having any understanding about the issues we face here, thousands of miles from the DC cocktail circuit.


    • Frank M Pelteson says:

      Dear Mr. Kennedy:

      Unless your Congressional District already has about 500 active Members of The John Birch Society in it, I wish you good luck in having your congress-person reply with other than the standard Leftist propaganda line of “saving the environment, the only politically correct ‘solution.'” Had there been at least 500 such Members in your district, you might have gotten a better repose, because the congressman would have been on his toes to heed your request, knowing that those “Birchers,” would have been on his case.

      The solution to your problem would have been to form a Chapter of The John Birch Society and cause it to recruit 500 such active Members in your Congressional District over time.

      No mean feat.


  4. Joseph McNamara says:

    Where does Agenda 21 fit into this…..joe mc


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