In Federalist #46, James Madison gave us the blueprint for how to reject federal programs. And, whether he knows it or not, incoming Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is putting at least one of Madison’s 4 steps into practice against the EPA.

On the Glenn Beck show this morning, said he will push back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate the coal industry, telling the EPA to “pound sand.”

From The Blaze:

Bevin’s comments came after Glenn Beck asked, “Now that you’re in, President Obama has said that he’s going to destroy the coal industry. Kentucky is a coal state. What are you going to be doing specifically to push back on that?”

“Why it is that we in Kentucky — that sit on two extraordinary basins, the Illinois basin and the Central basin, an abundance of this — how are we not participating in something that the world wants more of than they ever have?” Bevin asked. “And so, from my way of thinking, we will tell the EPA and other unelected officials who have no legal authority over us as a state, to pound sand.”

Bevin, a self-described “staunch conservative,” told Beck he believes the 10th Amendment is “one of the most powerful tools” and that power not expressly given to the federal government is the responsibility of the states.

On this, Bevin’s correct. And states have have a powerful impact. In Federalist #46, two of the four steps included an outspoken governor bringing attention to federal overreach, and a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.”

The Governor is clearly raising the alarm on the EPA, and other statements indicate he plans to utilize Madison’s recommendation to refuse cooperation too.

“The EPA, for example, they don’t have an enforcement arm,” Bevin said. “They use federal dollars. They use our own money. They bribe us with our own money to stick it to ourselves. And we will not do that anymore in the state of Kentucky.”


Since, as the National Governor’s Association confirmed, the states are partners with the federal government on “most federal programs,” refusing federal funding and creating an enforcement vacuum is a sure-fire way to bring these EPA programs down.

Partnerships don’t work when half the team quits.  And in the case of the EPA, it’s the entire enforcement mechanism if Bevin follows through.

Learn more about Madison’s advice, watch this video:

Concordia res parvae crescunt

Small things grow great by concord...

Tenth Amendment Center

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


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