Trump passes new rule to end Obama-era control of all land in the US


sunset over Rocky Mountains and foothills with an irrigation ditch – aerial view, northern Colorado near Loveland

Barack Obama passed an unnecessary water rule that allowed the government to control all water in the U.S. right down to puddles.

The Trump administration on Thursday will finalize a rule to strip away that Obama-era rule, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers who said Obama-era rules had shackled them with onerous and unnecessary burdens.

From Day 1 of his administration, President Trump vowed to repeal President Barack Obama’s “Waters of the United States” regulation, which had frustrated rural landowners.

His new rule, which will be implemented in the coming weeks, is the latest step in the Trump administration’s push to repeal or weaken nearly 100 environmental rules and laws, most of which are unnecessary and are more about power than the environment.

Expect lawsuits.


Mr. Trump has called the regulation “horrible,” “destructive” and “one of the worst examples of federal” overreach.

“I terminated one of the most ridiculous regulations of all: the last administration’s disastrous Waters of the United States rule,” Trump said at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in Texas on Sunday. “That was a rule that basically took your property away from you.”

Obama’s rule was a re-wording of a law on the books using fake studies.

The EPA claimed that all water is connected underneath the earth — based on bogus studies. The Obama officials used those studies to assume control over water on private property. Waterways were no longer defined as navigable under this rule, hence even ditches could be controlled.

The EPA insisted that the rule merely clarified which smaller waterways fall under federal protection after two Supreme Court rulings left the reach of the Clean Water Act uncertain. Those decisions in 2001 and 2006 left 60 percent of the nation’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands without clear federal protection, according to EPA, causing confusion for landowners and government officials.

That was patently untrue. There was no confusion. It was a ruse to seize control.

The EPA had assumed jurisdiction over ditches – ditches that flow from streams – tributaries, streams, and other small waterways. Every farmer, rancher, land developer, and landowner was now subject to federal enrichment actions under the Clean Water Act if they had even the smallest of waterways on their property.

More taxes, more regulations, more bureaucracy heaped on farmers, ranchers and land developers by an enormous, incompetent government agency.


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