The EPA's 'Make Sure Nothing Gets Done Unless We Like It' Mandate

Take Greater Cincinnati's outdated, overcrowded, 1960s-era Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky. This is the structure Obama used as a phony political prop in September 2011 as he lobbied to have Congress approve infrastructure spending which was supposed to happen in the 2009 stimulus bill, but mostly never did.

In enviro-zealots' minds, while reducing idling in traffic jams would be good, a Brent Spence replacement wide enough to accommodate future traffic growth would be bad, because more car and truck traffic means more emissions. Odds are they would try to argue that future traffic developments should be limited to trendy but publicly rejected ideas like light rail, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and the like. And besides, they prefer it be as inconvenient as possible for those people who drive long distances to work everyday, and that these people be nudged to take jobs closer to home.

If you're a fast-food franchisee who wishes to build another location in the outer suburbs, I don't see how ambitious litigants couldn't invoke the broad reach of NEPA to argue that your new location will cause people to make more carbon-emitting car trips and contribute to carbon-emitting urban sprawl. Besides, they'll argue, we'd be much better off if potential customers bought their food at grocery stores.

You want to move your company's headquarters? Better study your "before" and "after" carbon emissions, as well as those involved in the move itself. If you don't, the greenies might make you do it, and you won't like the result. The guess here is that if you want to pony up some buckaroos to environment organizations, they just might give you a pass and not object to your plans.

Many businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and investors looking at these constraints will throw up their hands and say: "Forget it." Then the self-appointed geniuses on the left, as they see economic growth stagnate, evaporate, or go negative, will scratch their arrogant heads and wonder why it's happening -- except for the true believers, who will rub their hands in glee.