West Virginia Record

Monday, April 6, 2020

Joe Pizarchik knows what West Virginia wants

Our View

By The West Virginia Record | Feb 14, 2017

Coal 02

“My biggest disappointment is a majority in Congress ignored the will of the people,” explained Joe Pizarchik, recently ousted director of the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, to a sympathetic ear at Politico. “They ignored the interests of the people in coal country.”

Pizarchik, of course, personally speaks for all of West Virginia.

The lawyer and lifetime public employee – he has drawn a steady government paycheck for the past 31 years, since taking his very first job in 1985 – has never had to worry about paying rent or putting food on his own table. But he feels everyone’s pain.

Trust him.

“Joe Pizarchik spent more than seven years working on a regulation to protect streams from mountaintop removal coal mining,” Politico explains. “It took Congress 25 hours to kill it.”

Politico points out that Pizarchik's pet regulation is “just one of dozens enacted in the final months of the Obama administration that congressional Republicans have begun erasing under a once-obscure law — much to the dismay of agency staffers who hauled those regulations through the long process to implementation.”

That “once-obscure law” is the Congressional Review Act of 1996, and it's a good thing it exists, or we'd be stuck with dozens of last-minute rules written by vindictive radical bureaucrats like Pizarchik seizing one last opportunity to rub our noses in it.

“A majority in Congress ignored the will of the people”? No, Pizarchik and his peers ignored the will of the people and Congress responded appropriately to their impudence.

“They ignored the interests of the people in coal country”? On the contrary, Congress is trying to undo the damage done to coal country by people like Pizarchik.

“They ignored the law”? No, they invoked a law targeting lawless martinets like him.

“They put corporate money ahead of all that”? No, they put the welfare of constituents ahead of the schemes of environmental ideologues like Pizarchik and the green-energy crony capitalists they serve.

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Organizations in this Story

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and EnforcementPolitico