- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 28, 2015


Democrats are giving a big thumbs down to the Obama administration’s new regulation to give the federal government dominion over streams, creeks, brooks, rivulets, burns, tributaries, criks, wetlands — even ditches and, possibly, really big puddles.

The Environmental Protection Agency enacted the rule on Wednesday, citing the Clean Water Act as the governing edict that gives the government wide powers over waterways, big and small. But Republicans complained loudly — and now, Democrats are jumping on board the beatback bandwagon.

At least 25 Democrats in the House are joining with Republicans to oppose the rule; so far, three Democrats have crossed aisles in the Senate. While not veto-proof majorities, the opposition move has only just begun.

Sen. Joe Manchin, West Vrginia Democrat, said the EPA is “once again dangerously overreaching its boundaries by expanding the definition of water sources it can regulate.”

The lawmaker says the rule “will certainly have a significant impact on West Virginia’s economy, hindering businesses, manufacturing and energy production.”

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota agreed.

“It’s frustrating that after so much time, the EPA today decided to finalize this rule instead of conducting more consultations and releasing a revised rule as our legislation would require,” she said in a statement.

“For the past several months, I’ve been working on a bipartisan bill to fix this issue by actually taking into account the needs of our farmers and ranchers, and giving them clarity without adding more federal regulations,” she said.

So, the fight is after, because President Obama’s fund-raising arm, Organizing for America, said: “This fight isn’t over.

“John Boehner and Mitch McConnell’s Congress and their polluter allies, have been doing everything they can to fight protections for clean air, public health, and a safe climate. It’s all but certain they’ll try to block this, too.”

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