American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - 112

cal students in the form of scholarships and
classroom science kits. Thirteen graduating seniors at Bakersfield's Independence High School Energy Academy received scholarships totaling up to $1,000,
and instructors also used some proceeds
to purchase science kits for high school stu-

dents to use during their educational visits to local elementary schools.
According to CIPA, the Kern County
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was another beneficiary, receiving $10,000 for its
energy academy, which provides scholarships for local college students interested

in pursuing energy industry careers. The
four-week course offered students a closer look at energy careers, and the scholarship contribution helped the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce double the number of participants that participated in the 2015 program.
❒

Coalition Targets Federal Regulations
By Tomi Collins
and Roman Buhler
As leaders of America's energy industry know, federal regulators are out of control. Regulators appointed by the Obama
administration believe they can rewrite
decades old laws in ways that were never intended by Congress.
As Daniel Henninger wrote in the
Wall Street Journal, "The central feature
of Mr. Obama's rewrite of what one
might call the founding fathers' original vision has been to abolish Congress."
Prospects for a Hillary Clinton administration are even worse. Candidate Clinton has promised to be even more aggressive than President Obama in using her regulatory power to rule without the consent
of Congress.
This fall, each voter should ask himself
this question: Do you trust bureaucrats in
Washington and want to give them even
more power, or do you want more checks
and balances on the abuse of federal
power?
Overwhelmingly, Americans want more
checks and balances, especially on abuses of power by unelected bureaucrats.
One critical reform is an end to "regulation without representation." We should
require that major new federal regulations
be approved by Congress before they can
take effect.
It's just common sense that the regulations that govern us, like laws, should have
the consent of the governed.
That is why every Republican member
of the U.S. House of Representatives
who cast a vote, along with some courageous Democrats, supported the Regulations from the Executive in Need of
Scrutiny (REINS) Act to require congressional approval for major new regulations.
And that is why presidential candidate
Donald Trump has said, "I will sign the
REINS Act, should it reach my desk as
president, and more importantly, I will
work hard to get it passed. The monstrosity that is the federal government, with its
pages and pages of rules and regulations,
has been a disaster for the American
economy and job growth. The REINS Act
is one major step toward getting our gov-

ernment under control."
Constitutional Requirement
But enacting the REINS Act requires
60 votes in the U.S. Senate to defeat a filibuster.
And the REINS Act, even if enacted,
could be challenged in court, or weakened,
waived or repealed by a future Congress.
To permanently restore checks and
balances, we need a constitutional requirement for congressional approval of major
new federal regulations. And we need pressure from state leaders to break the deadlock in Congress.
That is why more than 900 state legislators; the GOP vice presidential nominee,
Indiana Governor Mike Pence: former
presidential candidates Senator Ted Cruz,
R-Tx., and Ohio Governor John Kasich;
along with Governors Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Matt Mead of Wyoming, Paul
LePage of Maine, and Bill Haslam of Tennessee; as well as Trump's energy task
force chair, Congressman Kevin Cramer,
R-N.D., and U.S. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Tx., all support this amendment.
In addition, the Regulation Freedom
Amendment was included in the 2016
GOP platform. The Republican National
Committee endorsed it unanimously. The
American Farm Bureau and the National
Taxpayers Union, along with many others,
have endorsed amending the U.S. Constitution to require that major new regulations
be approved by Congress.
Just as states helped to force Congress
to propose the original Bill of Rights, pressure from two-thirds of the states today
could force Congress to propose the Regulation Freedom Amendment.
In fact, three times in American history, starting with the Bill of Rights and including the 17th Amendment for popular
election of senators and the 22nd Amendment for presidential term limits, states
have helped force Congress to propose
amendments states wanted.
The Regulation Freedom Amendment
says, "Whenever one quarter of the members of the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate
transmits to the president their written declaration of opposition to a proposed fed-

112 THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER

eral regulation, it shall require a majority
vote of the House and Senate to adopt that
regulation."
Once the Regulation Freedom Amendment is ratified and part of the U.S. Constitution, federal regulators will be permanently and constitutionally held accountable to elected officials.
Within Reach
The prospect of winning the support of
a majority of state legislators in twothirds of the states to force Congress to act
is within reach. Of the 67 state legislative
chambers in the 34 most pro-limitedgovernment-minded states, 64 now have
Republican majorities that distrust federal regulators.
And in three more states-Kentucky,
Iowa and New Mexico-there are many
pro-energy, pro-agriculture Democrats
who are skeptical about giving unaccountable Washington regulators control
of their states' economies.
Across the nation, there are many Democrats who don't want the Democratic
Party of FDR and JFK, who believed in
governing through legislation passed by
elected officials, transformed into an "undemocratic" party that simply empowers
regulators to rule by decree.
With support from both Republicans
and Democrats, 19 state legislative chambers already have passed resolutions urging Congress to propose the amendment,
and a growing network of business and
grass-roots political groups are gearing to
persuade state legislators and Congress to
act to curb the authority of regulators in
2017.
The states are beginning to rediscover
how strong they are when they come together on issues they can agree on. We expect to see many more states passing resolutions with this same language in their
upcoming sessions.
But this effort will not succeed without
the support of ordinary citizens concerned
about the future of their country and
about preserving the democratic processes that have made it the beacon of light to
the world.
A key challenge to self-government is
finding ways for ordinary citizens to have



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Cover1
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - October 2016 - Contents
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