Episode #14: Regulatory Overreach with Larry Kogan

National Association of Scholars

Regulation has all the charm of fluorescent light fixtures and all the warmth of cold spaghetti. Can we make a good hour out of it?

In this episode, I speak with Larry Kogan, who is to Federal regulation what Professor Van Helsing was to Count Dracula. And he tells us about beavers.

I first met Larry while Rachelle Peterson and I were researching the campus sustainability for our report, Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism. Since then, Larry has been our go-to expert on the “precautionary principle” and the many other pieces of legal and political chicanery that sustain the sustainability movement.  In this episode, he helps explain the ideology that demands limits on economic, political, and intellectual freedom to achieve environmental welfare.

Driving wooden stakes through the heart of the regulatory regime sounds like a wonderful job, but not many join in the task. Larry found his calling as a means of serving his nation after the terrorist attacks on September 11th. After 16 years as a tax lawyer, he went back to school--and inadvertently discovered sustainability. Larry jumped into government internships that exposed him to the regulatory state and the precautionary principle, quickly making himself an expert in the field.

But how far does the regulatory state really overreach? A farmer in western Pennsylvania stumbled straight into a landmine of conflicting regulations put forward by four government agencies, some of which attempted to take his land. Thankfully, Larry Kogan was paying attention and quickly exposed the arbitrariness of agencies administering federal law. The case is still ongoing for a whole variety of reasons (cue the beavers).

As always, I hope you enjoy this episode and be sure to share this podcast with your friends and colleagues.


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