Inhofe on CWRA

Senator James Inhofe’s opening statement on CWRA from the hearing is a useful addition to the debate.

I hadn’t previously realized the National Association of Realtors and had come out against the bill (perhaps I should stop reviewing the environmental groups’ propaganda sheets, which often claim only right-wing dirty water lovers oppose CWRA).

An excerpt from Senator Inhofe’s statement:

I see this bill as a significant part of a hostile agenda aimed squarely at rural America. Whether it’s new energy taxes from cap-and-trade legislation or more unfunded environmental mandates, it’s clear that this bill is yet one more raw deal for rural America.

Allowing EPA and the Corps to exercise unlimited regulatory authority over all inter- and intrastate water, or virtually anything that is wet, goes too far and is certainly beyond anything intended by the Clean Water Act. But, that is what S. 787 does. It vastly expands Federal control of private property, despite assurances contained in S. 787. In fact, the very premise of the bill is to override a State’s fundamental right to oversee waters within its borders and to usurp the power of land owners to manage their property as they see fit. The Constitution never envisioned federal jurisdiction being boundless; it carves out room for state and local governments and private property owners to manage their resources.

Two of my Republican colleagues have filed amendments to S. 787, which highlight some very legitimate concerns with the bill. I have chosen not to try and amend the bill because, frankly, I don’t think this bill is fixable. Allow me to just briefly list some of the groups that have expressed concerns with this bill that are not covered by any the amendments filed today: The Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, the American Forest and Paper Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of REALTORS, the American Highway Users Alliance, the American Association of Airport Executives, and the list goes on for about 14 pages…

Senator Inhofe’s statement on CWRA should be read in its entirety.

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