Author: Reed Hopper
If the President is sincere in his claim to reduce excessive regulatory burdens that kill jobs and the economy, he need look no further than the myriad environmental regulations that litter the legal landscape. Prominent among these is the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act that authorize federal bureaucrats to dictate local land and water use that has traditionally been the province of state and local planners. Not only have these heavy-handed laws driven up the cost of food, housing and energy, they have also resulted in unprecedented expansion of federal power and impingement on state sovereignty and private property rights.
Now we hear that the EPA will be issuing new guidelines for enforcement of the Clean Water Act sometime this month. This is a test for the Administration. If past behavior is any indication, these guidelines will assert even more federal control over local land and water use resulting in even greater regulatory burdens that kill jobs, hurt families, and undermine the economy. We can only hope that the President is serious about lifting counterproductive rules and that the new Clean Water Act guidelines will show more constraint and common sense than we have seen in the past.