Lately, it has come to light that the government, specifically the EPA, is so concerned about cow poop that they are using drones to sniff it out in the skies of the Midwest…Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.
Many cattle ranchers in the region have recently spotted the drones over their land and are reasonably upset by the practice. To answer a formal letter from U.S. Senator from Nebraska, Mike Johanns, on the subject. the EPA fired of the following message:
“Courts, including the Supreme Court, have found similar types of flights to be legal (for example to take aerial photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility) and EPA would use such flights in appropriate instances to protect people and the environment from violations of the Clean Water Act.”
The EPA is currently trying to hide behind Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution on this matter.
Article 1 – The Legislative Branch
Section 8 – Powers of Congress
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Perhaps YOU can see it in there but I can’t…Where Congress is provided authorization to legislate on matters of the environment. I do know, if one looks deeper into the Constitution, say…The 10th amendment, such authority IS provided to the STATES!!!
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Well, there ya go.
So far, the EPA, yet another out of control government agency, has yet to address the constitutional aspects of their cattle ranch spy missions.
Liberals, naturally, see any conservative outcry over the EPA drone spying on cattle ranches as hypocritical because conservatives have no problem with the use of drones to search out illegals crossing our borders.
Let’s go back to Article 1 Section 8 where it is stated, “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;” AHHHHH…There it is…this makes it constitutional to look for those (Insurrections and or invasions) entering our country illegally but there is NOTHING in there about environmental enforcement…Is there?
For those who cannot see the difference between protecting our borders and cow poop, I would suggest they are much closer to being the latter than understanding the former.
Many cattle ranchers live on the same property upon which the EPA is snooping from above. This means their families, children, gatherings and private homes and being over flown by government drones and nobody seems to know exactly WHAT information is being gathered or with WHOM it is being shared.
Could this be an invasion of privacy by an overreaching government agency in violation of the 4th Amendment?
It sure seems so.
The 4th Amendment
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
What the EPA claims to be doing is watching to see if cattle ranchers are polluting water supplies.
Cattle ranchers are among the best stewards imaginable of natural resources. For the vast majority of them, the land on which their cattle graze is also the same land which supplier THEIR water. The idea that cattle ranchers would allow their cattle to pollute their personal water supply is silly at best.
If there is genuine concern, let those at the state level investigate.
Cows will poop wherever and whenever they fell the need and ranchers KNOW this and therefore, set their grazing land accordingly in order to keep them away from such areas. Where water IS present, rivers, streams etc, precautions are taken as necessary.
Nature has a way of cleansing its own water supplies and before water is piped to municipalities or farmsteads, it goes through treatment facilities.
The EPA has no authority for such drone spy missions nor should they, in the opinions of many, have drones at their disposal to begin with and if they really want pictures of cow poop, I’m sure ranchers will happily provide them.
Better yet, perhaps cattle ranchers being droned should simply pack up a 20-pound box of the freshest meadow muffins they can find and send them directly to the EPA at:
USEPA Ariel Rios Building (AR)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
THAT, my friends, would raise the sort of stink which would garner some attention!!!