The New Clarion

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Start the Engines

January 21st, 2021 by Bill Brown · No Comments · Found on the Web

A National Day of Unity: it begins. Inauguration day saw a flood of orders, proclamations, and revocations. It evinced an energy belied by the campaign and took on a very progressive cast. Lowlights include:

  • Rejoining the Paris Accords
  • Revoking the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit and a bunch of executive orders that expedite environmental reviews; defining stakeholders as “State local, Tribal, and territorial officials, scientists, labor unions, environmental advocates, and environmental justice organizations;” requiring cost/benefit analysis of all environmental regulations—oh, but the costs analyzed are the “social costs” of carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide; and generally treating global warming as the existential crisis it isn’t
  • Rolling back any deregulatory or reformist tendencies that the Trump administration had
  • Enacting regulatory reform that “promotes policies that reflect new developments in scientific and economic understanding, fully accounts for regulatory benefits that are difficult or impossible to quantify, and does not have harmful anti-regulatory or deregulatory effects” and “propose[s] procedures that take into account the distributional consequences of regulations, including as part of any quantitative or qualitative analysis of the costs and benefits of regulations, to ensure that regulatory initiatives appropriately benefit and do not inappropriately burden disadvantaged, vulnerable, or marginalized communities.” Further: “[t]hese recommendations should provide concrete suggestions on how the regulatory review process can promote public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations. The recommendations should also include proposals that would ensure that regulatory review serves as a tool to affirmatively promote regulations that advance these values.”
  • Embedding racism in every executive decision and program, both explicitly by promoting “equity” at every turn and implicitly by revoking Executive Order 13950—possibly the most effective federal anti-racism (in the good sense) program in the modern era. The likely worst part of this EO in the long-term is the disaggregating of datasets “by race, ethnicity, gender, disability, income, veteran status, or other key demographic variables.” This will foster “disparate impact” lawsuits and actions with wide-ranging effects.

This is going to be a long ordeal.

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