Tags: Barack Obama | clean water rule | barack obama | EPA | Congress | republicans

Obama's Clean Water Rule Expected to Meet Stiff Resistance

Image: Obama's Clean Water Rule Expected to Meet Stiff Resistance
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 11:35 AM

As part of his ongoing pursuit to be remembered as the environmental president, Barack Obama is expected to soon announce new clean water regulations, a measure he intends to make law by bypassing Congress and issuing an executive order, according to The New York Times.

The Clean Water Rule would allow the federal government to limit pollution in rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands, according to the Times is designed to "protect critical streams and wetlands that are currently vulnerable to pollution and destruction," Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote in an April 6 EPA blog post.

Clean water is a necessity for the American people, the American economy, and the preservation of healthy ecosystems that maintain the wildlife habitat and "pristine places to hunt, fish boat, and swim," she added.

But, according to the Times, there is fervent pushback to the new rule from a wide swath of constituencies, including farmers, property developers, fertilizer and pesticide makers, oil and gas producers, and a national association of golf course owners who argue that the Clean Water Rule "would stifle economic growth and intrude on property owners’ rights."

Farmers told the newspaper that they worry they will be hit with additional costs and fees to cover the cost of things like environmental assessments and permits "just to till the soil near gullies, ditches or dry streambeds where water flows only when it rains."

Congressional Republicans, arguing that the rule is yet another example of executive overreach by Obama, are already at work on legislation to block or delay the rule, the Times reports.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, chief author of a Senate bill calling for the EPA to revamp the "outrageously broad new rule," charged that it would allow Washington bureaucrats to dictate "how farmers, ranchers and families can use their own property."

"It would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate private property just based on things like whether it’s used by animals or birds, or even insects," he said.

Obama’s desire to leave an environmental legacy, via executive authority, has been widely reported. In January, NPR reported on the president’s aggressive use of the power granted to the commander in chief, including "changing fuel standards for cars, making a greenhouse gas agreement with China and clamping down on dirty power plants."

As the end of his two-term presidency nears, his administration is pushing forward.

This summer, according to The Hill, regulators plan to fulfill Obama’s agenda with major rules on "greenhouse gases, the oil and natural gas sectors, coal production and other policy priorities."

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As part of his ongoing pursuit to be remembered as the environmental president, Barack Obama is expected to soon announce new clean water regulations, a measure he intends to make law by bypassing Congress and issuing an executive order, according to The New York Times.
clean water rule, barack obama, EPA, Congress, republicans
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2015-35-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 11:35 AM
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