EPA: Crucifixion as usual

James V. DeLong
An EPA regional director recently talked of the utility of "crucifying" oil and gas producers, apparently without much concern for whether they were actually violating any law. The Administrator quickly stated that this was not agency policy, and the official himself wound up on the cross of resignation. Actually, quixotic in terrorem enforcement is EPA policy, and has been for years. Ten years ago, I wrote a short book for the Cato Institute, Out of Bounds and Out of Control: Regulatory Enforcement at the EPA (Cato 2002)(available as an e-book). The description: The philosopher F. A. Hayek said: "Stripped of all technicalities, [the phrase 'rule of law'] means that the government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand -- rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and plan one's individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge." Out of Bounds,Out of Control measures...(Read Full Post)