The EPA Is Watching You!

George Orwell imagined a surreal, terrifying world dominated by a police state in the year 1984. He was off by 28 years.

Federal inspectors for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been flying over farms and ranches in order to surveil and detect violations of environmental regulations. While this certainly comes as no shock that the government routinely surveils its citizens, it is still, nonetheless, unsettling and largely unnecessary.

The EPA, the poster-child for what is wrong with bureaucracy, has been criticized for its formation of complicated regulations as well the its arbitrary enforcement of such regulations. Beyond simply convoluted in nature, the regulations have been cited as being nearly impossible to follow and the EPA is known for harsh penalties for violations, making businesses weary.

In 2010, an EPA administrator appointed by President Obama, Al Armendariz, drew criticism for his explanation of how the EPA enforces its will. In a speech, he stated,

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people who are, in this case, not compliant with the law.”

Well, I don’t know about you, but I certainly take comfort in knowing that there is an unruly, activist organization out there with a convoluted rule book filled with arbitrary rules and regulations that are being enforced by unelected, jack-booted thugs, who actually aspire to maintain the same control over their subjects as Roman conquerors. If that sounds crazy, it’s probably because it is absolutely, frighteningly, rat-in-a-coffee-can crazy.

Now, we can look forward to farmers being harassed not merely by the “pop-in” from the friendly neighborhood EPA compliance officer, but farmers must now worry that bureaucrats are watching them from above. Creepy.

Chuck Folken, who runs a cattle feeding operation 90 miles North of Omaha, said,

“This is just ridiculous that they’re flying over watching us like we’re committing flagrant crimes. Everybody is just really frustrated by the thought that the government is flying over, watching us and looking for things that are wrong.”

To make matters worse, the EPA has been very hesitant to share details of its operations. As farmers and ranchers in Iowa and Nebraska complained to their representatives, the EPA was unwilling to divulge information regarding the procedures for spying on citizens. After much urging the EPA downplayed the significance of the flyovers by claiming that they were merely looking for animal waste runoff into the local water supply. However, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley has yet to receive information as to why the EPA was flying over farms that showed no indication of having violated any regulations and farms that were not required to have discharge permits.

Representatives are still trying to get answers from the EPA as to what, exactly, they’re looking for and what, specifically, gives them the right to do aerial surveillance.

It is a sad commentary that this kind of thing seems about what one would expect from a regulation enforcement agency. As our government is comprised of smaller bureaucracies with unelected officials and needlessly complicated rules and regulations, it is clear that more oversight is needed and that these bureaus need to be streamlined. When we have random aerial surveillance by a governmental agency coupled with an unwillingness to discuss their objectives, it is clear that that agency requires further scrutiny.

But, of course, it wouldn’t be the worse thing a run amok agency has done lately. It’s not like they pushed guns to Mexican cartels and aided in the death of innocents, while scapegoating law abiding citizens for the sake of a political agenda.

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6 Responses to The EPA Is Watching You!

  1. Winston Smith says:

    “1984, Part 1, Chapter 1,Part One”: “In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into people’s windows.”
    When I lived in Oklahoma City I would hike around the neighborhood taking “Urban Nature” pics for Facebook. I entertained myself listening to audiobooks. One time it was an excellent reading of “1984″. Then my wife (to be, at the time) got me looking at politics! I tried to go through it a second time but seeing how Orwell’s words were jumping off the page into reality – I couldn’t get a half hour into it before I got TOTALLY disgusted … and scared!

  2. Lunatic Fringe says:

    Isn’t this the same Stasi, whoops I mean agency, that is fining oil refineries millions of dollars for not blending their gasoline with a type of ethanol that isn’t even commercially available. The entire federal government is out of control, but the EPA seems especially rogue.

  3. Joanne says:

    Its time to get rid od theEPA. No funding at all. There are killing this country. So is Obama.

  4. CaptTurbo says:

    It’s too bad that America is too stupid to get behind Ron Paul. Dr. Paul would send the BS EPA to the compost pile where it belongs.

    • pearl says:

      Let the idiot drones vote for Rombama. We were blessed with a true patriot after the model of the founders, in the nick of time. But Americans were too stupid to even comprehend it.

  5. Don Cordell says:

    Go ahead and elect Obama or Romney, and then complain, they are continuing to spy on us. It’s the Democrats and Republicans that outsourced America, and will continue on to the New World Order, terrorism, tyranny, and you voted for it. Our schools have trained everyone under 50 with this “The Government is Right” crap and none of you are willing to stand up with me, to save this nation. If 56 men had the guts to stand up against the British in 1776, are there 55 men willing to stand up with me now, to ReVote to Restore our nation? I’ll stop this if you click on my name, review my future for America, and join with me to prove to the world, “We the People” can still run this nation with Liberty and Justice for all.

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