Driving, grilling, and fireworks—the three activities most associated with the July Fourth weekend—are the opposite of “climate friendly.” So, just imagine this nightmare: a U.S. Department of Climate regulating those actions during this holiday—and every other day.

Fortunately, there is good news for citizen voters who are interested in celebrating energy affordability and reliability: the fresh West Virginia vs. EPA Supreme Court ruling. The majority opinion makes for good reading. Climate exaggeration and false alarms have taken their toll, but energy independence from the climate road to serfdom has an exit ramp.

Although “Independence Day” refers primarily to Jefferson’s Declaration proclaiming the colonies independent from Great Britain, the document clearly states that we are by nature independent from those who would seek to hold power over us. The public officials that we typically think of as “rulers” are simply servants, hired by the people to carry out precisely one duty: to secure and protect the rights of citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Because these rights can be violated only by means of coercion (exercised by criminals and foreign invaders), the Declaration admits that those servants must have a superior coercive power: government. But wise citizens, it tells us, will give to their governmental servants only as much power as is necessary for the purpose of securing the individual’s rights to freedom of action. And citizens will structure that power in ways that hinder governmental servants from exceeding their mandate.

Unfortunately, the Declaration warns, history teaches that public servants, however strictly bound by law to their one duty of protecting citizens’ rights, will invariably tend to exceed their authority. Ultimately, it says, if all lesser forms of rebuke and redress have repeatedly failed, citizens must act to replace their faithless servants with “new guards for their future security.”

In this way, the Declaration can be interpreted as a profoundly ecological document. It proclaims that the environment most required for human happiness and self-realization is the environment called political freedom, the climate of liberty.

Sociologically, Americans have always expressed this attitude through the ideal of pursuing the frontier, getting away from one’s customary crowd,  hitting the open road. The advent of the railroad, and then of the automobile and the airplane and other modern forms of travel, meant that one was not destined to live, marry, and die in the town where one was born.

The American spirit of personal freedom entrails energy freedom. A Declaration of Mineral Independence has been offered in this regard:

We solemnly declare that these United States ought to be free and independent again; that we are absolved from the dictates and bullying of Environmentalist NGOs, their representatives, and their funders; and that political obligations to them should be dissolved.

Our businesses and citizens must have full power to explore, develop, and mine on federally managed lands [as on private lands], under responsible modern environmental, health and safety standards; establish secure commercial supply chains; and function as independent businesses and individuals under the laws of these United States of America.

Happy Independence Day!

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