Thursday, June 23, 2016

Another Federal Judge protecting the people from an Federal Executive Administrative abuse of power -An answer to the question of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes - Who guards the people from the "guardian" governmental officials?

Below is a report from NPR on an important recent decision. 

NPR, based on past reporting, is in favor of the Federal Executive exercise of power. Nevertheless, the fundamental points regarding the federal ruling are clearly stated in the excerpt below.

"A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands.

In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight.

Skavdahl made it clear what he was — and wasn't — considering in his ruling.

"The issue before this Court is not whether hydraulic fracturing is good or bad for the environment or the citizens of the United States," he wrote. The question, instead, is "whether Congress has delegated to the Department of Interior legal authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. It has not."

Skavdahl (who was appointed by President Obama) concludes that, because Congress specifically removed federal authority to oversee fracking, the nation's legislators weren't intending for another federal agency to step in and take on a similar role.

"The BLM has attempted an end-run around the 2005 EP Act; however, regulation of an activity must be by Congressional authority, not administrative fiat," he writes. "The Court finds the intent of Congress is clear, so that is the end of the matter." 

For another perspective, see the ruling itself or the WSJ report, both linked below: