EPA bypassing Congress in land grab

Winningreen Alert       A052711a

EPA, Army Corps bypassing Congress and courts is more than a land grab: socialist takeover

By Tom Randall

Date: May 27, 2011


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the cooperation of the Army Corps of Engineers is attempting to regulate its way around 2001 and 2006 U.S. Supreme Court rulings that the federal government does not have authority to regulate, under the Clean Water Act, waters that are not part of or directly connected to "navigable waters." 
 
The administration tried to get around these rulings with legislation in 2009 but Congress soundly rebuked them, in large part in response to grassroots pressure.  That legislation would have given the President’s environmental czars power over intrastate bodies of water, including lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, mudflats, sand flats, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playas and natural ponds…as well as areas  that might occasionally get wet, such as roadside ditches and agricultural drains.  This new EPA rulmaking, for which the comment period ends July 1, would do these same things that both the courts and elected lawmakers rejected.
 
The statements the administration’s representatives made to Congress in 2009 are their rationals for rulemaking today.  Below is what they said then and our responses:
 
Statement 1:  "Federal agencies have faced significant challenges implementing these recent [court] decisions."
Response 1:  No, the rulings are both clear and simple.  Federal agencies have had significant challenges in getting around those decisions to usurp private property rights.  Of course, now they think they can do it simply by regulation.
 
Statement 2:  "Current agency guidance implementing the decisions contemplates complex findings that sometimes result in jurisdictional determinations that lack consistency across the country and can be time consuming and expensive."
Response 2:  It's called states' rights, folks, and the administration apparently doesn't want to recognize them.  They want all the power in the central government.
 
Statement 3:  "Delayed and unpredictable decisions are frustrating and costly to persons seeking approval of projects related to these waters."
Response 3:  There would be no delays and no uncertainty if the central government would simply obey the courts and respect elected officials by not trying to usurp state, local and personal rights.
 
Statement 4:  "Farmers often face complex issues with respect to whether wetlands located on their farms are within the scope of the Clean Water Act…"
Response 4:  The courts and Congress have made it clear that wetlands are not covered by the Act. Wetlands on farms are not navigable.  There would be no problems at all if the federal government would obey the law and respect landowners' rights.
 
Statement 5:  "The definition of waters protected by the Clean Water Act should be clear, understandable, well-supported and transparent to the public."
Response 5:  They are now, except when the federal government seeks to violate the court's decisions, Congress’s will and citizens' property rights.  What part of navigable do Washington bureaucrats not understand?
 
We could go on and on citing this sort of self-serving, misleading rhetoric.  It is clear that this administration has less interest in the environment and is all about expanding federal power and crushing individual rights.  Like all Marxists, they yearn for control of the means of production and individual lives — which this rulemaking seeks to give them.  It is up to you and your  elected representatives to see that this circumvention of law does not happen. Don’t worry that we temporarily don’t have the White House.  Submit comments, contact your Congressmen and Senators.  Fight, get allies, negotiate — winning is the urgent goal. Email your comments to: ow-docket@epa.gov  Be sure to write in the subject line: EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0409

Contact: Tom Randall
Winningreen LLC
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: trandall@winningreen.com