Current Events vs. Founding Documents

This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.

Who Says Carbon Is A Pollutant ?

Constitution, executive order, Separation of Powers

Entry 215

Current Event

According to, June 2, 2014

Obama's big environmental move: Demanding power plants cut carbon

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama is using his executive authority to take his strongest action yet against climate change -- proposing new EPA regulations.

An Environmental Protection Agency proposal announced Monday would cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30%.

"Nationwide, by 2030, this rule would achieve CO2 emission reductions from the power sector of approximately 30 percent from CO2 emission levels in 2005," the proposed regulation says. "This goal is achievable because innovations in the production, distribution and use of electricity are already making the power sector more efficient and sustainable while maintaining an affordable, reliable and diverse energy mix."

The EPA says the regulation will also "reduce pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick by over 25 percent." The agency projects the reductions will avoid 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.

The regulation gives states a deadline of June 30, 2016, to submit their plans. Those states that need more time can submit an initial version by that date and explain the need for more time. A final version would then be due one or two years later, "as appropriate," the proposed rule says.

By acting through a regulation rather than proposing a law, the president skirts Congress.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business federation, estimated the new regulations will cost the economy $50 billion a year.

The EPA offered a very different picture, saying the proposal will cost as much as $8.8 billion annually in 2030, but "will lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion per year in 2030."



The EPA vs. The Constitution


Founding Document


The US Constitution: Tenth amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” (George Washington)


We the People:


Did you know that the most prevalent greenhouse gas by far is water vapor? Most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere occurs naturally (including the small amount that humans and animals exhale).  Man-made industrial CO2 is a trivial one hundredth of one percent of the atmosphere; and the United States produces about one fifth of that. (Reference Britannica, Encarta, and Wikipedia encyclopedias)  This is not about saving the planet or protecting the health of the children; this is about political power over the nation’s energy supply and our liberty.  How long must we wait for this president to willing govern within the constraints of the Constitution?  Don’t hold your breath; the constitution must be enforced without him.


“The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 List of Hazardous Air Pollutants” from the EPA website does not list carbon dioxide as a pollutant.   But this president still insists that it is.  According to, executive orders are to be used only “to modify how an executive branch department or agency does its job (rule change) or to modify existing law, if such authority has been granted to the President by Congress.”  Since no such authority was given to the president, an executive order may not constitutionally be used this way.  Only the legislative branch has the authority to define a pollutant.  So this administration is defying the people’s representatives in Congress and plans to raise the cost of living and manufacturing in this country by limiting something over which it has no authority.  It can be stopped, but only if those in other parts of the government exercise their power.  One way is for Congress to defund the EPA.  Another is for the states to ignore this order. 



For US House of Representatives, go to

For US Senate, go to

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