The term federalism is defined as “the sharing of power between the national, state, and local governments”, and Article VI in the US Constitution states the federal government is the supreme entity (in a nut shell). For this assessment, the completed research will help you further understand the complicated relationship of these three entities. Since horizontal hydraulic fracking ushered in a new economic boom for the state of Texas, the question of regulation has loomed large. Who should be in charge of fracking regulations? Research the federal Clean Air Act and what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for. Next, research the lawsuits the state of Texas has filed against the EPA in an effort to establish their rights under the 10th Amendment. Lastly, research the fracking ban that was passed by voters in Denton and then the subsequent overturning of that ban by the Texas state legislature.
Once you feel educated on each of the above, answer the following questions:
- Should the state have the authority to override local fracking laws that were clearly passed by the voters? Why or why not? How might this law impact the fiscal policy of our state?
- How might the federal government’s establishment of standards regarding fracking-related pollution be described as an “overreach” of its powers? How might the federal standards be justified?
- Lastly, what are your overall feelings about the continuous fight between federal power and states rights? Should there by more or less emphasis given to the states to govern the people living within them or for continuity amongst all citizens, should the federal government really be in charge? Explain.