WE dredged, and found the actual (federal) Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, request for comments on that subject here. Note that this request was dated May 20, 2011, but it wasn't filed in the Federal Register until May 27th. And, comments were due on June 30th. Zippo-zango, that was quick. We'll keep this on the radar, and share the reponses when and if they're published. Legislators in the Dakotas have been pretty unhappy about it. But the main stream media has attempted to put their concerns down as alarmist. WE're just glad somebody in Washington DC has been awake, in the midst of the budget furor. What interest or position Larsen, Cantwell or Murray have taken is unknown. We'll do a little more searching. Meanwhile...
Answer to the reader's question: (unfortunately) Yes and No. It's clear that the feds are looking into reaching deeper into states' business. Why this would be necessary or constitutional, WE cannot imagine. Perhaps the feds are looking for revenue, to impose fees (likely). And maybe the department's looking to "create jobs" (expansion of government bureaucracy). WE have observed that this Administration just can't resist either of those temptations. And we wouldn't be surprised if there's a direct to Obama's newfound will to manage rural America to the max (see our post on his recent Executive Order).
MORE on this topic: Folks, please keep your eyes and ears open. WE have heard, from a reliable source, that in some local illiberal corners there's serious discussion about the need for new legislation (perhaps as soon as the next session in Olympia) to restrict the ownership of heavy equipment of all kinds in the name of "safety." Communal control freaks seem to think that ordinary citizens having their own backhoes, trenchers, bulldozers, track hoes, and large tractors shouldn't be allowed. You'd be forced to prove that you have a "legitimate, licensed business" to own big equpment. "It's dangerous!" "Women and children could be killed at a disproportionate rate!" "It puts too much power in one person's hands!" Oh my!! WE think this is positively bonkers - which probably means (around here) it's probably entirely true. Watch for proposed laws, state or local, on the not-too-distant horizon. Sidegame: Some groups simply don't want citizens to manage their own land, their landscapes, or commit any potential act of ecological irreverance. Heavy equipment saves us the labor of backbreaking work - it's not an excess. Capiche? If you hear anything about proposed heavy equipment legislation (state or local), please share the information confidentially through the Contact Us link above, or post to Comments below.
Not paying attention to what loons get up to, and trusting our legislators to keep their heads screwed on, has cost us one liberty after another. Watch out, Whatcom!