6-23-16 Federal Overreach Is Officially Court-Scorned

BREAKING NEWS TODAY: Compare With Related Federal Lawlessness Documented Below

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held an oversight hearing on the lack of enforcement and accountability from the Obama Administration in response to a growing number of reports of unethical and criminal conduct at the Department of the Interior (DOI).  More here, including witness testimony….

Federal Judge Kills Fed Fracking Regs

– The Washington Times – Tuesday, June 21, 2016

In the latest rebuke of the Obama administration’s expansive view of executive power, a federal judge has struck down the Interior Department’s effort to regulate fracking for oil and natural gas.

Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District Court of Wyoming already had put a hold on the regulations last year, and in a decision released late Tuesday, he ruled that Congress did not give Interior the power to regulate hydraulic fracturing, indeed it had expressly withheld that power with some narrow exceptions.

Congress has not delegated to the Department of Interior the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing,” Judge Skavdahl wrote in deciding a lawsuit brought by industry groups and a number of Western states. The “effort to do so through the Fracking Rule is in excess of its statutory authority and contrary to law.”

The judge dismissed particularly the claim by the Interior Department and its Bureau of Land Management that it had inherent broad regulatory authority to pursue the public good on federal and Indian lands, the only place the regulations would have applied.

Congress‘ inability or unwillingness to pass a law desired by the executive branch does not default authority to the executive branch to act independently, regardless of whether hydraulic fracturing is good or bad for the environment or the citizens of the United States,” wrote Judge Skavdahl, whom Mr. Obama appointed to the bench in 2011.

The Interior rules would have regulated well construction, the storage of waste water left over from the process, and required the public release of the chemical mixes used.

Even though it would only apply on federal land, the rules would have overlapped (and sometimes contradicted) state regulations and compromised competitively valuable information, potentially throwing a crimp into the U.S. fossil-fuel production boom of recent years — exactly the point, industry groups and Western states said.

Interior can appeal the ruling.

The Obama administration on a variety of subjects — immigration, gun regulations, health-care spending, the appointment process — has attempted to enact its agenda by claiming more executive power, often in the form of federal regulations buttressed by complaints that Congress isn’t passing the laws Mr. Obama wants. Even before Tuesday, courts had struck down numerous of those claims to power.


Of course, the above has no effect on environmental activist,  “sue and settle” fundraising litigation opposing virtually every important natural resource wealth producing activity in the state of Alaska.  -dh

While not energy related: this confirms the pattern of federal overreach that has been so damaging to wealth producing — as opposed to subsidized — energy industries.  -dh

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday announced that it had deadlocked in a case challenging President Barack Obama’s immigration plan, a sharp blow to an ambitious program that Obama had hoped would become one of his central legacies. As a result, as many as 5 million unauthorized immigrants will not be shielded from deportation or allowed to legally work in the United States.

The 4-4 deadlock, which left in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan, amplified the already contentious election-year debate over the nation’s immigration policy and presidential power.

The case, United States v. Texas, No. 15-674, concerned an executive action by the president to allow as many as 5 million unauthorized immigrants who are the parents of citizens or of lawful permanent residents to apply for a program that would spare them from deportation and provide them with work permits. The program was called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.

Obama has said he took action in 2014 after years of frustration with Republicans in Congress who had repeatedly refused to support bipartisan Senate legislation to update immigration laws. A coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, promptly challenged the plan, accusing the president of ignoring administrative procedures for changing rules and of abusing the power of his office by circumventing Congress.


Federal Overreach

University of Alaska Professor Steve Haycox. NGP Stock Photo by Dave Harbour.

University of Alaska Professor Stephen Haycox. NGP Stock Photo by Dave Harbour.

We’re inclined to dispute more than endorse the views of our University of Alaska friend, Professor Stephen Haycox, though he is certainly one of the hardest working, most pleasant fellows on the planet.

Now, he writes a book which we’ve not yet read, critiqued here by Nancy Lord.

Our position, well documented of course, has been that the federal government has overreached its authority and violated the statehood compact in many ways.

In brief, the fact that Congress and the Administration have thrown a little pork northward, is no justification for restricting access to the vast natural resources upon which 1) Alaska’s constitution is based, and 2) upon which the Congress voted to confer statehood to the territory, and 3) upon which the people of alaska agreed to statehood via plebiscite.

We urge our readers to review the video documentaries above.     -dh

We Alaskans

‘Battleground Alaska’ explores long conflict between feds, state leaders

  • Author:
  • Updated: 12 hours ago
  • Published 4 days ago

By Stephen Haycox; University of Kansas Press; 2016; 262 pages; $27.95 and e-book.

Winston Churchill famously said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” A more recent cartoon has an old man telling a young man, “Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who do study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.”

Alaskans would do well to learn about our state’s history, as we make decisions today and for our collective future.

How fairly or unfairly has Alaska been treated by the federal government compared to other states? Are we victims of “federal overreach?” How can we come to terms with a national reverence for nature and wilderness when we need to develop resources and perhaps don’t share the concept of wilderness as excluding humans? Whose land is this anyway?

Stephen Haycox, longtime Alaskan and professor emeritus at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is one of Alaska’s preeminent historians. His earlier books include “Alaska, an American Colony and Frigid Embrace: Politics, Economics, and Environment in Alaska.” In this new work, he thoughtfully explores the complex relationship between a state dependent on economic development and a federal government committed to protecting some of our country’s last untrammeled land.  Read more….

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About the Author:

Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, a Commissioner Emeritus of NARUC, NARUC's Official Representative to IOGCC and Vice Chairman of NARUC's Gas Committee. He served as Gas Committee Chairman of the Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners. He also served as commissioner of the Anchorage Bicentennial Commission and the Anchorage Heritage Land Bank Commission. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree: English, at Colorado State University, a Master of Science Degree: Communications-Journalism at Murray State University and graduated from Utility Regulatory School for Commissioners at Michigan State University. He served as a Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at Alaska Pacific University, taught bank marketing classes at the University of Alaska and was an English teacher at Los Alamos High School. Harbour served in ranks of Private - Captain during a 4-year assignment with the Army in Korea, Idaho, Georgia and Fort Meade and received the Meritorious Service Medal among other commendations. Harbour is also a past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, the Alaska Oil & Gas Association Government Affairs Committee, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the Export Council of Alaska and the Department of Commerce's District Export Council. He is a past President of the Alaska Press Club, American Bald Eagle Foundation, Consumer Energy Alliance-Alaska and Common Sense for Alaska. Harbour was instrumental in founding the American Bald Eagle Research Institute (UAS), the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, the Downtown Anchorage Business Partnership, and Arctic Power. He also served as CEO of several small Alaska organizations, including the Anchorage Parking Authority and Action Security, Inc. Harbour is also Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress. Harbour's wife, Nancy, is a professional, performing arts administrator and his three boys, Todd, Benjamin and William work in the fields of environmental management, energy marketing and medicine.
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