of power of the Executive Branch of our federal
The expansion of the power of the Executive
Branch of our federal government, during the last
decade, is both unprecedented and troubling. All of the
Presidents that served our nation between 1945 and 2001
appointed a total of only about forty four czars, on
average, less than one appointee per year. Nearly half
of those appointments were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The last two Presidents have appointed a total
of about ninety two czars during the past thirteen
years. On average, that is about eight appointments each
year. Fully two thirds of those appointments were made
without confirmation by the Senate. The rapid increase
in the number of appointments, as well as the move away
from the requirement for Senate confirmation, represents
a significant shift away from the checks and balances
established in the U.S. Constitution.
Moreover, the last two Presidents have issued a
total of 455 Executive Orders. Presidential Executive
Orders have the full force of federal law, until and
unless, they are countermanded by a subsequent Executive
Order, or by an act of Congress. These Orders do not
provide the public with the protection of the checks and
balances afforded by Congressional hearings, public
participation and open debate in the House and Senate.
Many of these Orders established steering
committees, working groups, task forces, commissions and
various councils that are intended to advise a variety
of government agencies. Of particular concern is the
appointment of regional councils of government.
Regional councils, commissions and planning
districts are generally appointed from members of
county, city and special districts. They typically serve
an area extending across several counties. They address
issues such as city and regional planning, economic and
community development, transportation planning and
These appointed bodies are authorized to give
direction, and to provide federal grant funding for
inter-agency agreements, private public partnerships and
a variety of non-government organizations. They are
generally funded by federal agencies, and are designed
to supplant, and to eventually replace the function of
local elected government entities.
On November 1st Barrack Obama issued
his 164th Executive Order. The Order
appears to be the mother of all efforts by the Executive
to take over the control of the people. The
document alleges to prepare the nation for the impacts
of climate change by enhancing our state of climate
preparedness and resiliency.
The Order instructs the Directors of thirty
federal agencies to participate in a “council on climate
preparedness and resiliency”. It requires that the
council shall work across agencies and offices and in
partnership with state, local and tribal governments,
academic and research institutions, non-government
organizations and the private sector.
The Order also establishes a State, Local and
Tribal Task Force on climate Preparedness and
Resiliency. The Task Force is to be co-chaired by White
House appointees. These White House appointed co-chairs
are instructed to invite “selected” state, local and
tribal officials to participate. This White House
selected Task force is directed to make recommendations
to the White House appointed Council regarding the
establishment of funding for programs to combat alleged
man-caused global warming.
The entire process functionally bypasses
Congressional constitutional authority. The appointed
Council and Task Force are directed to make policy that
is independent of Congressional authority. It directs
grant funding to selected favorite programs and projects
without specific Congressional authorization.
Further, the strategy attempts to direct the
investment of public moneys from all levels of
government away from business entities that produce,
transport or use fossil fuels. The agencies are directed
to promulgate rules that make investment in those
business entities “risky” for long term investment
strategies. Then the agencies are directed to identify,
assess and avoid making those “risky” investments with
On the other hand, the strategy attempts to
direct the investment of public money toward business,
non-profit and government entities that produce,
transport and use wind, solar and other forms of
renewable energy. In this manner, the investment of
public funds is channeled toward the less “risky” long
term investment in renewable energy resources.
The President appears to become more audacious
with each Executive Order that he issues. His boldness
is exacerbated by the inaction of Congress in opposing
virtually anything he proposes in his Executive Orders.
The certain outcome is near total abdication of
Congressional authority to the Executive by default.
What could possibly go wrong?
Please remember, if we do not stand up for rural Oregon
no one will.