Arkansas Rep. Seeks "Emergency" Power Over Frying Pan Grease

Arkansas Rep. Seeks "Emergency" Power Over Frying Pan Grease
May 2, 2012

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

State Rep. Kathy Webb is seeking to haveArkansas declare a state of emergency due to people failing to scrape grease from their dishes or trap the grease in special grease collectors before washing the dishes in dishwashers or the kitchen sink.

Webb has submitted Interim Study Proposal 2011-201, an act “to declare an emergency” over the alleged crisis. Frying hamburgers is now The People’s Business of the Highest Order.

Webb’s bill claims food grease presents an emergency risk of sewer overflows that threatens the environment. “It is in the public interest to establish a Fat, Oil, and Grease Advisory Committee to study the recommended measures to better ensure that the collection, transportation, disposal, and recycling of fat, oil, and grease are done in a manner that is protective of the environment,” reads the bill.

According to the bill, the state will appoint a 14 (!) member committee “with adequate staff and facilities” to study the frying-pan-grease emergency and recommend legislation, enforcement, and other emergency government action to fight food grease. Even after such action, the committee and its “adequate staff and facilities” will perpetually exist, convene, and soak up taxpayer resources.

This emergency bill will apparently do more than merely save the environment. “Therefore, an emergency is declared to exist, and this act [is] immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety,” declares the bill.

Heck, the bill might as well claim to solve global hunger and bring about world peace, while it is at it.

One can just picture how this emergency action may have come to fruition:

“Rep. Webb, the economy is in the longest, most dismal slump since the Great Depression. We must loosen the chains on eager entrepreneurs!”

“Why are you bothering me with this insignificant complaint? I have more important work to do.”

“Rep. Webb, there are only 10 states in the entire nation where students have lower ACT composite test scores than Arkansas. Let’s look into some meaningful education reforms!”

“Pah! Big deal….”

“Rep. Webb, healthcare costs are rising dramatically and the problem keeps getting worse. Let’s identify where government is making the problem worse!”

Have faith in Washington, young Padawan.”

“Rep. Webb, some soccer moms are washing their dishes without first scraping grease into the trash.”

WHAT?!!! Declare a state of emergency! Call in the EPA! Call in the National Guard! Break out the pitchforks and lanterns – it’s time to march on Little Rock!”

Government 101, folks…..

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)