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A View from the Altar / Maybe it’s time to start using the Constitution for yet another reason.
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Maybe it’s time to start using the Constitution for yet another reason.

The Obama administration’s rogue Environmental Protection Agency has begun implementing new rules on emissions for power plants.  The result is going to be lots and lots of coal-fired power plants getting shut down, according to an article in the Washington Post.

The fifth amendment to the Constitution says private property must not be taken for public use without its owners being justly compensated.  In this case, power plants owned by utility stock holders are being put out of business by environmental rules, but the owners are not being compensated for their losses.  I’m not a constitutional lawyer and don’t play one on TeeVee, but this is still a pretty clear case of citizens being denied the use of their private property for public reasons without being repaid for their losses.

Okay, first they came for the power plants…  What might a rogue government do next?  Well, they might decide your old car uses too much gasoline and puts out too much exhaust, and you might be told that you cannot drive it any more.  Or you might be told that the windows in your home create unacceptable energy losses and be ordered to replace the windows or board them up.  Or if you’re on the low end of things economically, you might be told that your trailer house cannot be transported over the highways… no, wait, they already do that.  Only nobody likes trailer houses or gives a hoot about poor people for whom a mobile home is all the wealth they possess in this world.  Without thinking about how this would affect moi, communities allowed these unjust anti-mobile home laws spread all over the landscape.

How could this have happened without people realizing that killing off poor people’s trailer houses wouldn’t be the end of it?  Well unfortunately, Americans are so poorly educated in history, politics, and the general rules of basic integrity that they’ve lost their grip on a fundamental piece of truth.  The basic liberties that come from the Lord are pretty much all of a piece.  If you don’t have the right to own, use, and dispose of your own private property, you’ll soon find you don’t have any other rights either.

What this means for our energy situation is hard to predict.  For now, the utilities can probably stay ahead of the EPA’s swath of destruction by building gas-fired power plants.  That’s going to hurt — badly — later on down the road because electricity generated from natural gas is way more expensive than what you can get from coal.  Furthermore, the EPA has its crosshairs on the gas industry, too.  They will bring a halt to the enhanced gas recovery technique called “fracking” if they possibly can.  And like the ballyhoo with global warming, it won’t matter what the facts are.  It’ll just matter what the envirocrats say they are.

So maybe it’s time for an informed citizenry to start letting representatives know that the EPA has pretty much careened out of control.  We don’t want to abolish the EPA, and we certainly don’t want Chinese-style gigapollution over here.  But the EPA needs to answer to some level of reason, and maybe the fifth amendment would be the place to make them start.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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