U.S. House moves to block EPA water rule

By Gene Hall

All fans of property rights and reasonable environmental regulation can cheer at a recent vote in the U.S. House. This week, by a vote of 262-152, the House voted to gut a proposed EPA rule to change the Clean Water Act (CWA.)

The CWA has always given EPA the authority to regulate the navigable waters of the U.S. Once this ill-advised rule is implemented, navigable means mud puddles, ditches and places that aren’t wet most of the time—like a “low spot” in a farmer’s field. That means every foot of ground and drop of water in the U.S. That means aggressive fines of many thousands of dollars a day. It also means lengthy and costly permit fights with regulators who may not care if your crop is at risk.

Of course, this common sense legislation is not going anywhere in the Senate and the White House has promised a veto if it did. The “green left” has too much leverage in the Democratic Party to think anything else. However, the impressive tally on the vote, including 35 Democrats, is important. There will be a bipartisan effort to overturn the rule in Congress at some point. You can also count on court challenges.

The Supreme Court has already said no to the EPA’s rule change. So has Congress. This time, EPA is using the old “getting forgiveness is easier than getting permission” routine. It’s a statist plan to go right ahead with a land use and control scheme that is the green left’s wildest fantasy come true. I think it’s a terrible idea.  So does a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House.

Gene Hall

Public Relations Director
Texas Farm Bureau
I believe that the only hope for a food secure world is capitalism and reasonable profits for America’s farm and ranch families–that the first element of sustainability is economic survival.
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One Response to “U.S. House moves to block EPA water rule”

  1. The caveat, “reasonable environmental regulation” will always be subject to the interpretation of whomever is in charge of the agency, therefore expecting any new legislation to protect private property owners from the extra-legal abuse of crazy zealots is naive, at best.

    I understand that it is nice to be able to report a little positive news on this topic, but as you admit in paragraph three, much to my chagrin, it ain’t goin’ anywhere in the Senate.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch… the beady-eyed, freshly graduated, volunteer legal beagle, save the environment types continue to stealthily search the hinterlands building cases against unsuspecting ag producers with gleeful abandon. Lois Alt can testify to that.

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