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Obama Administration is Intentionally Misleading Americans on Proposed Water Rule

Senators Respond to Administration’s Biased Campaign to Downplay Negative Impacts; Proposed Rule Will Have on Jobs, The Economy and Private Landowners

(Below is a news release and letter issued by Sen. Barrasso’s office earlier today, which may also be viewed here.)

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA) led a group of 25 senators in calling out the Obama Administration for intentionally misleading Americans about the negative impacts of the proposed “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.
With few exceptions, this proposed rule would give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) virtually unlimited regulatory authority over all state and local waters, no matter how remote or isolated such waters may be from truly navigable waters. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy (SBA) recently reported this rule will result in a “direct and potentially costly impact on small businesses.”
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, the senators outline and respond to some of the Administration’s misleading talking points about the rule.
“Undoubtedly, there is a disconnect between regulatory reality and the Administration’s utopian view of the proposed ‘waters of the United States’ rule. We believe this reflects the EPA’s and the Corps’ refusal to listen to the thousands of Americans who have asked that the proposed rule be immediately withdrawn. Indeed, there have been several examples of bias against the proposed rule’s critics.  For the record, we note here the ways in which the Administration has manipulated this rulemaking in ways that appear to be designed to prejudge the outcome:,” the Senators wrote.
The Senators respond in detail to:

  • The Obama Administration claims that the proposed “Waters of the United States” rule responds to prior requests for a Clean Water Act rulemaking.
  • The Obama Administration insinuating that opposition to the proposed rule is equivalent to opposition to clean water.
  • EPA’s attempt to delegitimize questions and concerns surrounding the proposed rule.
  • EPA and the Corps blatant misrepresentation of the impacts of  increased Clean Water Act jurisdiction.
  • EPA’s social media advocacy in favor of the proposed “Waters of the United States” rule prejudices the rulemaking process.

In addition to Barrasso, Cruz, McConnell, and Vitter, the letter was signed by Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Enzi (R-WY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jim Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Scott (R-SC), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rand Paul (R-KY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Mike Lee (R-UT).


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