New 4th Branch of Government -- The Bureau o'cracy

posted Jan 24, 2012, 7:50 AM by Site administrator   [ updated Jan 27, 2017, 5:57 AM ]
Supporters, we patiently waited for our carefully crafted official response from the White House to our petition to CURB the FERC.  Each of the 5,519 petition signatories by now have received their official response from Ms. Lauren Azar, Senior Advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Department of Energy. 

 The most revealing comment in the White House reply: 
 “… FERC is an independent regulatory agency, meaning that while FERC is part of the executive branch of the federal government, it is independent of presidential control, with substantial discretion in carrying out the Federal Power Act's mandate that private hydropower projects it approves be best adapted to the comprehensive development of waterways.” 

The official website explains that Independent Agencies and Government Corporations were created by Congress to address concerns that go beyond the scope of ordinary legislation. These agencies are responsible for keeping the government and economy running smoothly. A list of these independents can be viewed at, and rest assured there are many more than the FERC – I counted 69.

Obviously we have a fourth branch of Government, the independent Agency, which has no responsibility to respond to the We the People and is accountable to no one!   Can we all agree this 4th branch should at least be regulated by the Congress that created it? 

Recall, on July 11, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13579, requesting that independent regulatory agencies retrospectively review their significant regulations to ensure they promote public participation, improve integration and innovation, promote flexibility and freedom of choice, and ensure scientific integrity during the rule making process in order to create a regulatory system that protects public health, welfare, safety, and the environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. 

Unfortunately the Executive Order did not define “significant,” however; the FERC has determined that a very limited number of the Commission’s rules are “major rules” because they do not have a “significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities.” Guess what – Shoreline Management is not considered a major or significant rule and I think the FERC just called us “small entities.” 

All the more reason why the SHORE Act, introduced by Congressman Robert Hurt is necessary, and why additional legislation will be needed to get our independent FERC under control. I urge you to contact congressional representatives because the White House just punted. We “small entities” need to address House and Senate Oversight Committees … this independent agency concept is beyond belief and out of control.

Voice your support for H.R. 3663 "The SHORE Act" at POP VOX