Letter from Congressman Graves: The EPA’s Assault on Private Property
From granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, to trying to weaken the Second Amendment through executive order, the Obama administration has shown time and again its disdain for the Constitution. Unfortunately for the President, he cannot simply regulate what Congress has refused to legislate.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been one of the worst offenders of executive overreach under this administration. Most recently, I am hearing from people who are rightly concerned about the agency’s “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.
WOTUS allows the EPA to regulate ditches, flood plains, and any water or wetland they believe could possibly affect the waters of the United States – including ponds or streams on our farmland. As a farmer and a representative of rural North Missouri, I find this to be a blatant over-reach into our private property rights.
This rule was developed without examining the economic impact on private citizens and farmers, and destroys the state and federal partnerships established by the Clean Water Act.
That is why, last week, I helped introduce the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act. This bill will require the administration to immediately withdraw WOTUS, and orders the EPA to communicate with all affected stakeholders before developing any new rule.
The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act was passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which I am a member, and will soon come before the whole House for a vote. I am confident that we can advance this important legislation and force the Obama administration to begin listening to the American people.