August 25, 2010

Should Congress strengthen the Clean Water Act? No: Plan is sleight of hand

By Should Congress strengthen the Clean Water Act? No: Plan is sleight of hand

Author: Reed Hopper

Read my op-ed in the Duluth News Tribune.

Here is an excerpt:

"In a recent letter to colleagues, U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar claimed his new bill — “America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act” (H.R.5088) — would “restore, but not expand, the geographic scope of the Clean Water Act” that existed before the U.S. Supreme Court declared there are limits to federal power to regulate local rivers, lakes and streams.

"To prove this claim, Oberstar turned to the most biased sources he could find — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These are the very agencies the Supreme Court castigated for their limitless and ever-changing interpretation of the Clean Water Act. The court ruled the EPA and Corps exceeded the scope of their own regulations, the plain language of the Clean Water Act, the clear intent of Congress and, likely, even the outside boundaries of the U.S. Constitution.

"Asking the EPA and Corps if the Supreme Court was wrong to limit federal power over remote water bodies is like asking a felon if the jury that convicted him was wrong.

"After more than 30 years of overreaching, power-hungry bureaucrats are not going to admit they exceeded their authority."

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