What refreshing language to come from the pen of a federal judge.
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. Washington Times
What refreshing language to come from the pen of a federal judge. Just savor the following:
[The Supreme] Court consistently has given voice to, and has reaffirmed, the central judgment of the Framers of the Constitution that, within our political scheme, the separation of governmental powers into three coordinate Branches is essential to the preservation of liberty.
A federal agency is a creature of statute and derives its existence, authority and powers from Congress alone. It has no constitutional or common law existence or authority outside that expressly conveyed to it by Congress.
Although the Secretary asserts FLPMA delegates to BLM broad authority and discretion to manage and regulate activities on public lands, nothing in FLPMA provides BLM with specific authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing or underground injections of any kind; rather, FLPMA primarily establishes congressional policy that the Secretary manage the public lands under principles of multiple use and sustained yield. …At its core, FLPMA is a land use planning statute.
…an administrative agency’s power to regulate in the public interest must always be grounded in a valid grant of authority from Congress.
…the Court holds the Fracking Rule is unlawful, and it is ORDERED that the BLM’s final rule related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands, 80 Fed. Reg. 16,128 (Mar. 26, 2015), is hereby SET ASIDE.
The above is from a judge appointed by Obama! Astonishing.
And given the court’s differentiation of planning and regulating, one must wonder what other programs this may affect.
A Handbook for Ranch Managers. In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.
You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.