The GOP Platform & the Environment

With some effort, I was able to find full text of the platform. Not surprisingly, the basic thrust is to relax limits on industry.   The energy provisions correspond to Romney’s recent proclamations — more drilling in more places, less regulation of coal, etc.  On the environment, the basic message is that current regulations are too strict, and that we shouldn’t expect any new regulations anytime soon.

A few interesting environmental points that are worth flagging:

  • “We . . . endorse legislation to require congressional approval before any rule projected to cost in excess of $100 million to American consumers can go into effect.”
  • “We also call on Congress to take quick action to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations that will harm the nation’s economy and threaten millions of jobs over the next quarter century.”
  • “We call for a moratorium on the development of any new major and costly regulations until a Republican Administration reviews existing rules to ensure that they have a sound basis in science and will be cost-effective.”
  • “Worst of all, over-regulation is a stealth tax on everyone as the costs of compliance with the whims of federal agencies are passed along to the consumers at the cost of $1.75 trillion a year.”  As I and many others have written, this is a bogus figure.
  • “Constructive regulation should be a helpful guide, not a punitive threat.”
  • “Congress should reconsider whether parts of the federal government’s enormous landholdings and control of water in the West could be better used for ranching,mining, or forestry through private ownership.”
  • “Legislation to restore the authority of States in environmental protection is essential.”
  • “We stand with growers and producers in defense of their water rights against attempts by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to expand jurisdiction over water, including water that is clearly not navigable.”

Probably the essence of the changes is contained in the platforms emphasis that we ” must balance economic development and private property rights” with “human health and safety.”  Current regulation also strikes such a balance, but the platform obviously seeks to shift the balance much more concern with regulatory costs and the interests of property owners, and less toward health, safety, and other environmental values.

 

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Reader Comments

20 Replies to “The GOP Platform & the Environment”

  1. Here’s another one that I initially missed: “Equally impor-tant, we pledge to enforce the Takings Clause in the actions of federal agencies to ensure just compensation whenever private property is needed to achievea compelling public use. This includes the taking of property in the form of water rights in the West and elsewhere and the taking of property by environmen-tal regulations that destroy its value.”

  2. Here’s another one that I initially missed: “Equally impor-tant, we pledge to enforce the Takings Clause in the actions of federal agencies to ensure just compensation whenever private property is needed to achievea compelling public use. This includes the taking of property in the form of water rights in the West and elsewhere and the taking of property by environmen-tal regulations that destroy its value.”

  3. Dan said:
    “… the platform obviously seeks to shift the balance toward much more concern with regulatory costs and the interests of property owners, and less toward health, safety, and other environmental values….”

    This is progress. Previously, it was fashionable to accuse Republicans of subverting environmental laws and causing the deaths of thousands of children, women and minorities every year throughout America. Now it suffices that Republicans merely have less interest toward health and environmental values (but are not necessarily cold-blooded killers),

    This new insight may explain the amazing lack of premature deaths in this election cycle. This is also a hopeful sign of a better days ahead which gives us much encouragement.

    Thanks for sharing my joy.

    1. Well, the whole point of shifting the balance away from health and safety is that you’re going to have more dead people in return for getting more of something else. Anyway, I was trying to be as descriptive and neutral as possible.

      Actually, I think this campaign is only going to make polarization even worse than it already is. The GOP has moved substantially farther to the right, making common ground less likely, while the Democrats seem increasingly embittered by what they see as the power of corporate wealth over the political process. I predict a very nasty four years ahead of us, regardless of who wins.

  4. Dan said:
    “… the platform obviously seeks to shift the balance toward much more concern with regulatory costs and the interests of property owners, and less toward health, safety, and other environmental values….”

    This is progress. Previously, it was fashionable to accuse Republicans of subverting environmental laws and causing the deaths of thousands of children, women and minorities every year throughout America. Now it suffices that Republicans merely have less interest toward health and environmental values (but are not necessarily cold-blooded killers),

    This new insight may explain the amazing lack of premature deaths in this election cycle. This is also a hopeful sign of a better days ahead which gives us much encouragement.

    Thanks for sharing my joy.

    1. Well, the whole point of shifting the balance away from health and safety is that you’re going to have more dead people in return for getting more of something else. Anyway, I was trying to be as descriptive and neutral as possible.

      Actually, I think this campaign is only going to make polarization even worse than it already is. The GOP has moved substantially farther to the right, making common ground less likely, while the Democrats seem increasingly embittered by what they see as the power of corporate wealth over the political process. I predict a very nasty four years ahead of us, regardless of who wins.

  5. Why would anyone want to buy the land when they can pretty much graze it, log it, mine it or drill and let the taxpayer subsidize the cost. For all the intoxicating talk of the self-made men, when push comes to shove, that’s the real Republican platform, going back all the way to Lincoln.

  6. Why would anyone want to buy the land when they can pretty much graze it, log it, mine it or drill and let the taxpayer subsidize the cost. For all the intoxicating talk of the self-made men, when push comes to shove, that’s the real Republican platform, going back all the way to Lincoln.

  7. Dan said:
    “… I predict a very nasty four years ahead of us, regardless of who wins…”

    I respectfully disagree. If the right man wins in November then the next four years will be better than the last four years. We have plenty of good reasons to be hopeful.

  8. Dan said:
    “… I predict a very nasty four years ahead of us, regardless of who wins…”

    I respectfully disagree. If the right man wins in November then the next four years will be better than the last four years. We have plenty of good reasons to be hopeful.

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Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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