As the EPA continues to run amok, especially in their stance towards coal, three congressmen have formed a bi-partisan alliance to rein in this leviathan of regulation. According to Audrey Hanson of Human Events, the EPA is trying to stretch the Clean Water Act to absurd limits by seeking to “control land alongside ditches, gullies and other ephemeral spots by claiming the sources are part of navigable waterways. These temporary water sources are often created by rain or snowmelt, and would make it harder for private property owners to build in their own backyards, grow crops, raise livestock and conduct other activities on their own land, lawmakers say:”
Never in the history of the CWA has federal regulation defined ditches and other upland features as ‘waters of the United States,’” said Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the ranking committee member, and Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.
This is without a doubt an expansion of federal jurisdiction,” the lawmakers said in a May 31 letter to House colleagues.
The unusual alliance of the powerful House Republicans and Democrat to jointly sponsor legislation to overturn the new guidelines signals a willingness on Capitol Hill to rein in the formidable agency.
The Obama administration is doing everything in its power to increase costs and regulatory burdens for American businesses, farmers and individual property owners,” Mica said in a statement to Human Events. “This federal jurisdiction grab has been opposed by Congress for years, and now the administration and its agencies are ignoring law and rulemaking procedures in order to tighten their regulatory grip over every water body in the country.
Twenty-six Republican senators have drafted legislation to curb the new CWA regulations. In addition, sixty-four Republican AND Democratic members of the House have sponsored similar proposal. Hanson quoted Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), who captured how most conservatives feel about the EPA, declaring that “President Obama’s EPA continues to act as if it is above the law. It is using this overreaching guidance to pre-empt state and local governments, farmers and ranchers, small business owners and homeowners from making local land and water use decisions…our bill will stop this unprecedented Washington power grab and restore Americans’ property rights. It’s time to get EPA lawyers out of Americans’ backyards.”