Home > Uncategorized > We’re Shifting Focus Here To Try To Explain What The “Dismantling Of The Administrative State” Would Mean To Daily Life

We’re Shifting Focus Here To Try To Explain What The “Dismantling Of The Administrative State” Would Mean To Daily Life

Little Awareness Of The Looming Threats Of The Likely Confluence Of The US Supreme Court’s Rejection of the “Chevron” Doctrine And The Trump-Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025″

“the end of the environmental movement – and protection – as we have known it”

A Series Of Dispatches From The Regulatory Policy Weeds

Project Introduction:

For the past 15 years, we’ve focused here primarily on NJ State level environmental, land use, and energy/climate policy, with a critical focus on DEP, the Governor, the Legislature, media, and environmental groups.

We’ve brought an insider’s expert understanding to those issues, and have striven to puncture the spin and falsehoods the Trenton crowd and their media enablers and corporate donors traffic in.

I’ve also woven in photos, including posting many landscape shots from the last 7 year long epic western roadtrip.

I recently ended that awesome roadtrip and settled down in Philadelphia, a drastic change I’m still reeling from.

In my floundering and recalibration, I’ve been rethinking what I’m doing with my life, including the writing here at Wolfenotes.

I’ve been searching for a new project and thinking of shifting focus.

It’s pretty hard to justify my small bore focus at a time when the world is literally burning, ecosystems are collapsing, the Biden administration is pursuing a proxy war in Ukraine and supporting a genocide in Gaza, and Trump has captured the Republican Party and is likely to be re-elected in November.

A Trump re-election would consolidate power and institutionalize at the federal level what amounts to the current fascist cultural forces and political climate. (If you think that’s Joe Biden partisan Democratic Party spin or hyperbole, listen to this and visit the academically curated website: New Fascism Syllabus’ “Interrogating The Present”:

But not many people realize that behind Trump’s buffoonery and fascist rhetoric lies not only expanding movements by White Christian Nationalists and heavily armed militia’s, but competent law firms, think tanks, and corporate financial and political power and scientific, legal, and policy expertise.

The latter factions – not generally recognized as “Trumpers” or identified as part of the Trump electoral base – have put their cards on the table and outlined exactly what they would do with federal power in a Trump second term. They did this in a Report recently issued by The Heritage Foundation, the libertarian, right wing, corporate think tank.

A second Trump administration would not be a repeat of the bumbling, incoherent, and incompetent Trump first term.

The Heritage Foundation Report is aptly titled “Project 2025″ – it would be a demolition project, something I very broadly overviewed in this post:

(more about that later)

At the same time that the Heritage Foundation has crafted the radical policy agenda for the next Trump administration, the US Supreme Court is laying the legal doctrine and foundation to enable this radical agenda to be realized.

The Supreme Court is poised to reverse a longstanding but little understood judicial doctrine known as “Chevron deference”, a doctrine that interprets and applies the Constitution’s fundamental structure and forms the backbone of administrative law and virtually all government regulation of corporate power and interventions in market decisions. (They already set the stage last year by striking down an EPA climate regulation in West Virginia v. EPA, which included a new radical “Major Questions” doctrine. More about all that later).

So, we have three massive and radical right wing projects simultaneously converging:

1) a Trump re-election, backed by billionaire and corporate money and his heavily armed and violence prone base;

2) a radical new doctrine of administrative law supported by a radical right wing corporate super majority on the US Supreme Court; and

3) a competently crafted radical corporate policy agenda which is explicitly designed to end civil service, install loyal political hacks in positions of power, politicize science, and dismantle the administrative state.

Bill Neil, my good friend, a true organic public intellectual and writer – I urge you to go and read his work over at Substack – suggested that the combination of these forces would result in “the end of the environmental movement – and protection – as we have known it” (I stole Bill’s title, with his OK).

More broadly, I’ve warned that it would result in the “dismantling of the administrative state”.

This convergence comes at a time when the climate catastrophe, accelerating and expanding ecological collapse, and rising inequality, homelessness, economic opportunity, and diminishing health and social welfare are creating a culture of despair that requires a massively reenergized government project, beyond even Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal.

So just at the time when the problems become insurmountable without a competent and robust government initiative, the political and legal reality are stripping government of the capacity to respond.

It will be the objective of this project to break all this down and to try to explain exactly what this means for daily life.

I’ll do that with a post every week or so that drills down on the details of both Chevron doctrine and Project 2025, and links them to changes in not only public policy and regulation, but impacts on daily life.

The implications of a Trump second term are terrifying and I see little public awareness, media coverage, climate and environmental group understanding and substantive engagement, or political appetite to respond to this slow motion train-wreck that is rapidly accelerating.

I see no one connecting these obvious dots.

We will work to try to change that.

[Update #1: 1/27/24 – Some progress here (Jeff St. Clair at CounterPunch)

+ The Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025” policy brief for the Department of the Interior calls for reinstating oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, expanding the Willow project from three to five drilling well pads, and opening up nearly all of the 23-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to oil/gas leasing and development.

[Update #2 – 1/29/24 – more progress, but does not included “Project 2025″ and legal analysis is limited to Chevron, not the “Major Questions” doctrine:

[Update #3 – 2/2/24 – Paul Street’s piece today at CounterPunch mentions Project 2025.

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