Few people truly understand how the Federal Environmental
Protection Agency over the past 30 years has contributed to the
difficulty of attempting to run any type of business, large or
For good or ill, the recent EPA deadline for upgrading all
underground storage tanks and the effect it will have on thousands
service stations around the country is another reminder of the
that agency impacts our lives. From dry cleaners, to print shops, to
service stations, to refineries, and virtually every other kind of
business, or manufacturing activities, voluminous rules, regulations
and standards present a forbidding quagmire through which such
enterprises must travel.
Just keeping up with all the rules is difficult enough, much less
trying to comply with them. The costs, while inevitably paid by the
consumers, are staggering. Since they usually are hidden in the
overall product or service cost, consumers are unaware of their real
Aside from the federal rules and regulations, many based at best
on contorted logic, each state has one or more agencies involved in
environmental regulation, such as the Department of Environmental
Quality in Oklahoma. These state agencies are vital because they
play a key role in the enforcement of federal laws and regulations.
They also develop their own, additional requirements that place more
burdens on businesses.
As a result, while citizens have been relegated to trash sorters,
businesses, industry, and even other governmental agencies have
it ever more difficult to get anything done. Thousands of jobs are
endangered to protect the Spotted Owl. Major construction projects
give way to the Darter Snail, or are delayed at costs of millions of
dollars by some rare beetle, or never-before-heard-of worm.
Perhaps the following article best reflects the frustration of
anyone trying to do anything constructive in the United States
The author is unknown to me, but I believe it was published in the
Happner (Ore) Gazette-Times circa 1970. The article, title and all,
And God said, "To Hell with it"
In the beginning, God created the heaven, and the earth.
He was then faced with a class action lawsuit for failing to file
an impact statement with the HEPA (Heavenly Environmental Protection
Agency), an angelically-staffed agency dedicated to keeping the
universe pollution free. God was granted a temporary permit for the
heavenly portion of the project, but was issued a "cease and desist"
order on the earthly part, pending further investigation by the
Upon completion of the construction permit application and
environmental impact statement, God appeared before the HEPA Council
to answer questions. When asked why he began these projections in
the first place, He replied simply that He liked to be creative.
This was not considered adequate reasoning and He was told He would
be required to substantiate it further.
HEPA was unable to see any practical use for earth since "The
earth was void and empty was upon the face of the deep." And God
said "Let there be light. …