EPA Continues to Contemplate Clear Water Act Power GrabFri, 24 Aug 2012 11:09:06 CDT
Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe joined farmers and ranchers in Garfield County Thursday to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempts to redefine navigable waterways under the Clean Water Act. Speaking from a buffalo wallow in a field on Gary Johnson's farm near Waukomis, Inhofe said the EPA wants to redefine or remove the term ‘navigable’ from legislation defining the scope of EPA’s responsibilities. That would allow the agency to regulate all water including farm ponds, pipelines, groundwater, roadside ditches and even the buffalo wallow beneath his feet.
“When Republicans controlled the United States Senate, I chaired the committee called the Environment and Public Works. That has jurisdiction over all of what I call the ‘over regulators’ destroying this country. Not just in ag. You think it’s just ag, it’s not. Manufacturers have the same problems. Producers have the same problems. This is probably singularly more destructive than the huge deficit that this President’s given us.
“You might remember, just to refresh some of your memories, that we had the Clean Water Restoration Act that was introduced by a Senator named Russ Feingold from Wisconsin and a House member named Oberstar. Now, they introduced this so that they would take the word ‘navigable’ out to allow the federals to regulate everything you’re looking at. You can go to Kingfisher County. I can remember after a hard rain when some water was standing. That would then be subject to regulation.
“Not only did we defeat the Clean Water Restoration Act, we defeated Russ Feingold and Congressman Oberstar. They didn’t give up, however. It’s just like cap and trade. We defeated all their legislation, now they’re trying to do it through regulation.”
Inhofe was a guest of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. The American Farm Bureau is sponsoring events all across the country to highlight the issue of excessive regulations that threaten farmers. Inhofe said it was with the assistance of the Farm Bureau that the legislation was defeated. He also said it was through the efforts of the Farm Bureau that regulations on farm dust have been sidetracked.
Though the administration may have been defeated on dust regulation, Inhofe said it has not dampened their efforts to expand the scope of EPA’s regulation of water.
“This is a perfect example today. They weren’t able to pass it legislatively so they are trying to do it through a guidance system. That means they do it through the bureaucracy. You know, I was the bad guy ten years ago who discovered that the whole idea that global warming was happening due to man-made gasses and now people understand that wasn’t the case. What they are doing now since they lost it legislatively, the Obama administration has spent-and we had to discover it--$68.4 billion on the cap-and-trade greenhouse gas agenda they were not able to do legislatively. They are doing the same thing with water here. So, I hate to say it, we’ve just got to get them out of there.”
Landowners fear if EPA powers over water are expanded, the agency could curtail the use of fertilizers and pesticides hampering farming and ranching operations.
After completing his remarks, Inhofe took questions from the audience. He was asked what the next step is towards defeating the attempt by the EPA to broaden its powers.
“The best thing you can do to preclude it from happening, I’m sorry to be so blunt about this, is to defeat Obama. Good luck.”
He was asked what he thought was motivating the flood of regulations against farmers, ranchers, and business owners.
“Their effort is to have government regulate our lives to every degree possible that they can… Their motive is just to regulate. There are a lot of people who believe that government can run our lives better than people. And a lot of them are in Washington. And they’re the ones I’m fighting with every day.
For more information on Inhofe's work to rein in excessive bureaucracy, click here.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below for the audio story with Senator Inhofe.
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