Obama’s Regulatory ‘Nightmare’

 Farmers, Small Businesses, States Object to White House Waters of the U.S. ‘Powergrab’


“President Obama on Tuesday rejected an attempt by congressional Republicans to overturn his landmark regulation asserting federal power over small bodies of water.” (“Obama Vetoes GOP Attempt To Block Water Rule,” The Hill, 1/19/2016)

SEN. McCONNELL: “WOTUS isn't really a clean-water measure, it’s an unprecedented federal power grab clumsily masquerading as one. In passing a bipartisan measure to overturn it, Congress stood up for the Middle Class and said that America's clean-water rules should be based on the kind of scientific, collaborative process the American people expect — not Washington politics. Apparently the President disagrees. He had a choice today between standing with the Middle Class or standing with Washington bureaucrats, he chose the bureaucrats.” (Statement by Sen. McConnell, 1/19/2016)


Bipartisan Votes In Both Houses To Overturn The Regulation

“The Senate approved a bill Wednesday to block the Obama administration’s new regulation setting federal authority over small waterways. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water rule passed on a 53-44 vote. Three Democrats joined every Republican except [one] in advancing the bill.” (“Senate Votes To Kill EPA’s Water Rule,” The Hill, 11/04/2015)

“The House voted Wednesday to overturn a contentious rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that asserts federal authority over small waterways. The House passed the resolution 253-166 Wednesday, with 12 Democrats supporting it. (“House Votes To Overturn Obama Water Rule,” The Hill, 1/13/2016)


‘One Of The Administration’s Most High-Profile And Controversial Regulations’

“The water regulation, though not core to Mr. Obama’s climate agenda, has become one of the administration’s most high-profile and controversial regulations in recent years. Opponents of the rule, which include a range of agriculture and energy companies and their congressional representatives from rural and energy-intensive states, say the regulation amounts to a federal intrusion into states’ rights.” (“House Votes to Overturn Expanded Waterway Regulations,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/13/2016)

“Barack Obama's water war… a massive power grab by Washington.” (“Barack Obama's Water War,” Politico, 5/27/2015)

SEN. HEIDI HEITKAMP (D-ND): “‘There is not one single federal regulation in the entire country that has caused more concern in the state of North Dakota than this Waters of the United States proposed regulation,’ Heitkamp said. ‘There is incredible uncertainty out there.’” (“Senators Target Obama’s Water Rule,” The Hill, 4/30/2015)

  • SEN. HEITKAMP: “Farmers across North Dakota and the nation deserve better than the sweeping federal rules regulating possibly every pothole on their land – they deserve certainty, and they deserve to be heard before any rule goes into effect.” (Sen. Heitkamp, Press Release, 8/27/2015)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “Today, the EPA is once again dangerously overreaching its boundaries by expanding the definition of water sources it can regulate,” Senator Manchin said. “It is completely unreasonable that our country’s ditches, puddles and other un-navigable waters be subjected to the same regulations as our greatest lakes and rivers, and implementing this rule will certainly have a significant impact on West Virginia’s economy, hindering businesses, manufacturing and energy production. The bottom line is that no federal agency should go around Congress to control what has not been legislated, especially when its actions will harm economic growth. I urge my colleagues to take immediate action on the bipartisan Water Quality Protection Act to rein in this harmful rule.” (Sen. Manchin, Press Release, 5/27/2015)

SEN. JOE DONNELLY (D-IN): “That is why it is incredibly important that the EPA rewrite the Waters of the United States rule with input from the people who live and work on the land and alongside these waters every day.” (Sen. Donnelly, Press Release, 4/30/2015)


‘A Nightmare For Farmers’ And ‘For Small Businesses’

American Farm Bureau Federation’s Don Parrish:  “It’s going to cause a nightmare for farmers. . . . Our members own the majority of the landscape that’s going to be impacted by this. . . . It’s going to make their land, the most valuable thing they possess, less valuable. It could reduce the value of some farmland by as much as 40 percent.” (“Obama Announces New Rule Limiting Water Pollution,” The New York Times, 5/27/2015)

NFIB Vice President of Public Policy Amanda Austin: “The Waters of the United States rule would make developing property a nightmare for small businesses. Small businesses simply don’t have the resources to pay the fees and hire the consultants to help them navigate the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency didn’t even bother to consider how this rule would affect small firms with limited ability to cut through the red tape.” (“Small Business Calls on House to Stop Waters Rule,” NFIB Website, 1/12/2016)

  • “As a result of this new regulation, the Agencies are bringing seasonal streams, ponds, ditches, and depressions in fields into federal jurisdiction. The financial impact of this rule will affect small businesses disproportionately; Clean Water Act permits can cost tens of thousands of dollars and lead to lengthy project delays.” (NFIB, Letter to House Members, 1/11/2016)


Two Federal Courts Block ‘Arbitrary And Capricious’ Regulation

“A federal appeals court on Friday temporarily blocked an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that would bring more waterways and wetlands under federal protection, in the latest sign the effort could face an uphill legal battle. The order, issued on a 2-1 vote from the Cincinnati-based Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was a preliminary boost for a group of 18 states that challenged the EPA regulation. . . . The court said the challengers had demonstrated ‘a substantial possibility of success’ in winning the case. Friday’s ruling did not resolve the legal merits of the regulation but put the EPA’s plans on hold while the case continues.” (“U.S. Appeals Court Blocks EPA Water Rule Nationwide,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/09/2015)

“The [U.S. District J]udge said the rule appears to be too broad in some cases. He said the definition of tributary, for example, could include many waters that are unlikely to have a significant connection to larger waters downstream. He also said the rules are ‘arbitrary and capricious,’ and would cover some waters that are ‘remote and intermittent.’(“Judge Rules Obama Administration Water Rule Should Be Halted,” The Associated Press, 8/27/2015)

“More than 30 states have challenged the rule on several legal grounds . . . .” (“House Votes to Overturn Expanded Waterway Regulations,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/13/2016)

  • “‘The EPA has redefined “waters of the U.S.” in order to gain greater authority and power over private land,’ Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement about the lawsuit he filed with leaders in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.” (“States Sue To Block Obama's Water Rule, The Hill, 6/29/2015)



Related Issues: EPA, Regulations, WOTUS