Over the last two years since it was proposed, the “waters of the United States” or “WOTUS rule” has ruffled more than a few feathers. As soon as the rule was published for comment, industry groups, local governments, and others affected by the rule all prepared to voice their concerns and defend their interests against the WOTUS rule’s call for a drastic expansion of federal regulatory jurisdiction.
Since then, debate over the controversial rule has persisted—in the public, in Washington D.C., and in the courts. Accordingly, more people have heard about the rule and begun to wonder what it might mean to them, their employees, customers, and families. Recently, in response to these worries, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners asked PLF to weigh in and let them know if the WOTUS rule really is as bad as it seems. Our answer, which won’t surprise readers of the Liberty Blog, was that it is indeed as bad as it seems—in fact, it’s probably worse.
In our letter to the Commissioners, we confirmed their suspicions that the WOTUS Rule is an unconstitutional expansion of federal regulatory jurisdiction; that it will severely burden landowners, businesses, and local governments with onerous permitting requirements (not to mention extortionate demands by bullying enforcement agencies); and that the rule’s public comment period failed to give the public an idea of what the agencies actually had in store.
Our letter is available here. We hope the National Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners finds it persuasive and decides to join PLF and the numerous other concerned groups and individuals who have publicly denounced the WOTUS rule.