Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Now the Environmental Protection Agency

Fox News has reported that nearly three-dozen Republican congressmen have accused the EPA of “apparent bias” against conservative groups seeking information under the Freedom of Information Act. Government agencies charge fees for producing the requested documents and these fees can be very substantial, sometimes upwards of $100,000. But the fees can be waived if the agency thinks the information will serve a public purpose. According to Fox:

The allegations were first made by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank. It claimed the EPA was not being fair as it weighed whether to charge fees to groups seeking information via Freedom of Information Act requests.

Its research showed liberal groups have their fees for documents waived about 90 percent of the time, while conservative groups are denied fee waivers about 90 percent of the time.

This is not surprising. While the IRS is staffed by bureaucrats and bureaucrats tend, naturally, to favor the party of big government, the EPA is staffed with ideologues out of the environmental movement. That is a movement that, in the guise of protecting the environment, is virulently anti-commerce and anti-free market. I would guess that at least 90 percent of those who call themselves “environmental activists” voted for Obama.

This is a classic example of “regulatory capture,” where a government regulating agency ends up staffed by people who come out of the thing being regulated. The very first federal regulatory agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission, created in 1887 to regulate the railroad industry, was soon full of railroad men who, after all, had the expertise needed. The ICC quickly evolved into a cartel mechanism that eliminated competition in the industry and guaranteed profits. The result was a long, slow decline of the railroad industry until the 1970s, when the ICC’s rate-setting powers were eliminated.

If there is systemic bias against conservative organizations in both the IRS and the EPA it seems unlikely that it stops there. What other parts of the Obama administration are using the powers of government for illegitimate political purposes?


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.