In 2015, former President Barack Obama made one of his biggest grabs for more power at the federal level when his Environmental Protection Agency initially issued what was called the “Waters of the U.S.” rule, which eventually came to be called the “Clean Water Rule,” which essentially granted the feds total control over all “waterways” within the country, regardless of size, utility or navigability.
The rule was opposed by Republicans and a majority of the states, many of which filed a lawsuit to stop its implementation. President Donald Trump promised repeatedly on the campaign trail that he would do away with the blatant power-grab.
And now he has.
According to WTVJ, Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order requiring the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a thorough review and rewrite of the rule and for the Justice Department to suspend all legal action regarding the rule while the review is ongoing, according to the Washington Examiner.
Trump reportedly called the rule in its present state “a disaster” and one of the “worst examples of federal regulation” that “has truly run amok.”
Reaction to the order came swiftly, particularly from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has fought against the rule since its inception.
“The 2015 Waters of the United States rule was essentially a federal land grab. America’s businesses, farmers, and other land owners and managers will be happy to see it reconsidered and properly withdrawn under President Trump,” said a statement from William Kovacs, Senior Vice President of Environment, Technology, & Regulatory Affairs for the chamber.
“The rule would have given the EPA and the Corps unprecedented permitting and enforcement authority over land use decisions that Congress did not authorize,” Kovacs’ statement continued. “To add insult to injury, the two agencies refused to properly assess the economic harm the rule would cause, despite the objections of Congress, States, businesses — even other federal agencies.”
“We know that economic growth and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive goals. To achieve both, government must create a regulatory climate that is clear, certain and transparent so business is confident to invest, innovate and create jobs,” he added.
“If regulatory reform legislation like the Regulatory Accountability Act becomes law, poorly written rules like WOTUS would be subject to greater analysis and transparency,” Kovacs concluded. “We urge the U.S. Senate to take action to make regulatory reform a reality this year.”
We are thrilled that Trump took action to start the process of doing away with this horrible example of federal overreach. This is also a great step toward revitalizing the economy by releasing large and small businesses from the burdens placed on them by ideological control freaks in D.C. who have kept their boots on the necks of American producers for partisan reasons.
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