When EPA worries about regulating puddles, it has gone too far

By Luther Strange, Alabama Attorney General

The latest example of Obama Administration overreach is here. A new regulation issued by the Environmental Protection Agency would greatly expand federal authority over Alabama waters. The administration is selling the rule as protecting drinking water, but – make no mistake — this is about power and control.


Just how bad is the new rule? It is so broad and so expansive that the EPA was forced to specifically exclude puddles from the regulation’s reach. While I’m grateful that the federal government won’t be inspecting Alabamians’ front yards every time it rains, the fact that such an exemption was needed speaks to just how dangerous — and costly — this regulation will be if it is allowed to stand.

The rule expands EPA’s authority far beyond what was intended by the Clean Water Act — protecting America’s lakes and rivers from pollution — arguably to every stream, ditch, and pond within our state, even those that only occasionally hold water. And it’s entirely unclear how this expansion of federal power comports with one of the main goals of the Clean Water Act — facilitating cooperation between the states and the federal government.

Every day, the hard-working men and women of Alabama’s Department of Environmental Management are on the ground, protecting Alabama’s rivers and lakes in a way that is beneficial to all. EPA should support them in that work, not make it more difficult.

Not surprisingly, EPA’s rule has faced intense criticism since a preliminary version was first unveiled in April 2014. But rather than respond to these complaints, the EPA has launched an unprecedented public relations campaign, flooding social media in an attempt to drown out complaints about a rule that cannot be defended on the merits.

But clever tweets and Facebook posts can’t hide the truth — this new rule is bad for Alabama. It is rife with ambiguities and loose language, opening the door for EPA to regulate in unpredictable and ever-expanding ways.

Alabama’s farmers will be among the hardest hit. Every time they plant a crop, apply fertilizer, or move cattle across a stream, they may be subject to new permitting requirements. EPA assures us that they will refrain from applying the rule so broadly, but Alabama’s farmers deserve better than empty promises from the federal government. They deserve a rule that clearly defines their rights and responsibilities and that properly limits EPA’s power.

Our farmers feed the world. They are up before dawn and work till well after sunset. They face any number of challenges they can’t control, from too much rain to not enough, from disease to insect infestations. My office is fighting to ensure that they don’t have to add EPA permitting requirements to that list.

Today, Alabama joined a number of other states from around the country to challenge EPA’s regulatory overreach in court. We will show that this rule is but the latest in a long list of actions by the Obama Administration that ignores the law. And we will hold them accountable. EPA may not be willing to listen to reason, but it will be forced to listen to the courts.

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July 2, 2015 2:03 pm

I feel sorry for my friends to the south. Your EPA is out of control. And I doubt reigning it in will be easy.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  mpcraig
July 2, 2015 3:29 pm

If the EPA was the only Federal agency acting beyond Constitutional limits, we really wouldn’t have much of a problem.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
July 2, 2015 11:16 pm

Alabama to challenge the EPA’s latest radical overreach in court
So it would appear that ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ includes more than “navigable waterways” and that the USACE might just be the fereral permitting body for anything within the 100-year floodplain. YMMV
The Final Clean Water Rule
Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’
“DATES: This rule is effective on August 28, 2015. In accordance with 40 CFR part 23, this regulation shall be considered issued for purposes of judicial review at 1 p.m. Eastern time on July 13, 2015.”
“The scope of jurisdiction in this rule is narrower than that under the existing regulation. Fewer waters will be defined as ‘‘waters of the United States’’ under the rule than under the existing regulations, in part because the rule puts important qualifiers on some existing categories such as tributaries. In addition, the rule provides greater clarity regarding which waters are subject to CWA jurisdiction, reducing the instances in which permitting authorities, including the states and tribes with authorized section 402 and 404 CWA permitting programs, would need to make jurisdictional determinations on a case-specific basis.”
Hmm, narrower and fewer than the existing regulation.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
July 6, 2015 7:13 am

ICU, the only way this is narrower than the previous regulation is under exceedingly broad interpretation that said everything with a “significant nexus” was affected, effectively everything.
The issue is that this has such broad effects that you can be arbitrarily prosecuted for filling in holes on your land (remember, dirt is the most common pollutant in CWA cases).

Reply to  mpcraig
July 2, 2015 4:06 pm

Hmm…just thinkin’ out loud. Let’s see now, the Democratic Party’s vassal “failed-states” of the American “rust-belt” and NE, are hemorrhaging citizenry, jobs, and businesses to the economically vital and prosperous South. O. K., I’ll take that as a given. So could the hive see this meridonal-migraton phenomenon as injurious to its cherished, “In-Gruber-We-Trust”, lefty “narrative”? Hmm, again…got to think about that one! So, like, could the imposition of onerous, economy-wrecking EPA regulations on the South and predatory enforcement of the same be seen by the hive-masters as way to level the ideological playing-field? Wow!–really got to ponder that one. And so, like, maybe, are all these greenwashed intrigues by the “Hive Bozos” really just all about crushing Lovers-of-Liberty and ethical science in order to promote the hive’s cull-crazy, neo-feudal, collectivist, dystopian grand-designs? NO WAY!!!–not even the EPA can’t be that Satanically evil!

Mike Henderson
Reply to  mike
July 2, 2015 6:19 pm

“NO WAY!!!–not even the EPA (can) be that Satanically evil!”
Bet? The EPA is now a Progressive institution. Progressives segregated the blacks (Woody Wilson, civil service and military) and then sucked them in for support. That’s not evil?

Reply to  mike
July 2, 2015 6:32 pm

Wot in hell ever happened to the “navigable stream” test?

Reply to  mike
July 2, 2015 8:48 pm

JimB – the EPA assertion now is that any source of water that ends up in a navigable stream is subject to regulation, since the navigable stream is affected. So if the water in the creek in your backyard eventually ends up in a naviable waterway a hundred miles away, they can regulate it. Since even rain run-off can eventually find its way to such a stream, they claim the right to regulate all water.
I think, hope…pray, that the EPA faces serious enforcement problems. Perhaps carrying a shotgun when EPA reps come calling, asking if they still live at xxx Yyyy Street, and asking, oh, by the way, how’s the family, could produce more amenable results. Just be sure to smile and offer them a beverage. That’s good ol’-fashioned Southern hospitality.

Richard of NZ
Reply to  mpcraig
July 3, 2015 4:30 am

I feel sorry for my friends to the north-east. Your EPA will be difficult to rein in, because they wish to rule, not merely to reign.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  mpcraig
July 3, 2015 5:24 am

This madness is happening everywhere. A friend on the other side of the river has a property that the previous owner dug a hole in to supply material to level a house foundation. A stream on the property flooded the hole and now he has a provincially regulated “lake”.
Safe the planet, reduce bureaucrats!

Reply to  mpcraig
July 3, 2015 11:43 am

Isn’t it time we have a ‘Say No to a Bureaucrat’ day?
I mean – with the sweep of a pen smoking a plant can become illegal, or legal and taxable.. a family can be protected from insults by laws, or manhandled into a gas chamber.. local fauna can be declared a pest and a bounty instituted or it can be protected with stiff fines and exclusion zones.
I did not vote for these people, they often serve no useful purpose other than to provide for themselves at the expense of our labors.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we felt empowered enough to tell them to sod off when it was clear they were just being officious pratts? That way, we might avoid seeing the likes of the Stasi (and others, worse again) in the world.

Reply to  mpcraig
July 3, 2015 12:36 pm

No need for sympathy. The sheeple keep electing the same thieves, with different faces. They are footing the bill to be tyrannized. Now, for more Scotch! Celebrate Independence from tyranny…ooops…it’s back!

Brian H
Reply to  mpcraig
July 3, 2015 8:39 pm

reining in, not reigning. Horses, not kings.

July 2, 2015 2:05 pm

The government went too far many years ago. Washinkton is a runaway locomotive of hard leftist nutters.

Gunga Din
Reply to  John
July 2, 2015 2:21 pm

In the US Constitution the Executive Branch (which the USEPA, the IRS etc.) fall under only has the authority to enforce the laws passed by Congress.
One of the problems is that Congress gave the Executive Branch bureaucracies to authority to make regulations. In effect, Congress delegated the authority to make law.

Gunga Din
July 2, 2015 2:08 pm

Go get ’em!
First step, stop them.
Next step, force each regulation to be approved by Congress.

Reply to  Gunga Din
July 3, 2015 1:44 pm

Gunga – you are on to something good here.
“force each regulation to be approved by Congress”
[Congress. Or the local name for your National Hot Air Factory]
Yes; we need, somehow, to develop a mechanism that requires our ‘elected’ representatives [Deputies, Senators, MPs etc.] to spend at least nine months of the year re-approving legislation.
Since they all, uniformly, need three months’ holiday, they will not blight us with further mad-capped laws.
They get their sinecures [and probably a pension you or I could only dream of after a particularly rich cheese for supper] – but we get no new legislation.
The only problem I see with that is – can we get the turkeys to vote for Christmas?
Auto – seeking solutions!

Gunga Din
Reply to  auto
July 3, 2015 2:23 pm

OT but that reminds me of a joke I once heard.
In Plains Georgia they are have peanuts for this Thanksgiving’s dinner.
They sent their turkey to Washington.
(Heard during the Carter years.)

July 2, 2015 2:15 pm

Education and community awareness is a far more powerful process for change to make improvements to the environment.
Those that really care will play ball, those that won’t never will any stage.
This nannystate micro-management nonsense is just plain stupid.
And about as effective as the “War on – Drugs” (etc. etc. etc.)
The carrot is much more effective than the stick – and does not breed suspicion of your neighbours and foment more hatred for a patently lost administration.
micro mangment from

Reply to  cnxtim
July 2, 2015 2:46 pm

I know that ‘nanny state’ is a popular term used to describe the totalitarianism that we are experiencing. But it is too gentle a term. I know of too many people who have had their farming and other businesses destroyed by agents of the state to think of the perpetrators as ‘nannies’. They, and the rules which employees of the government and it agents follow, are authoritarian, despotic, tyrannous, vicious…
Many of the rules and regulations come from the “musts” as stipulated in Agenda 21, in some jurisdictions referred to as Local 21 in order to shield people from realizing that it is a document that originated with the United Nations. All of this is being done in the name of sustainability: development that meets the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. That’s not exactly the same as ‘from each according to ability, to each according to his needs’, but I’m sure you can see the parallel.
Alabama is one of the few states to take a stand against Agenda 21 and I’ve thought how fortunate the people of Alabama are that their state legislature stood up for the citizens. Hurray for Alabama! Go Luther Strange!

Reply to  cnxtim
July 2, 2015 2:47 pm

More welfare for more government employees.

Reply to  Dahlquist
July 2, 2015 5:15 pm

I was going to make a similar statement. The nameless, face bureaucrats are the ones that are running western governments hiring more and more minions (unions) and have been doing that for decades. By numbers alone they can change elections. Wait and see the repercussions this AG is going to face in the next week to ten days. The digging into closets will be deep!

July 2, 2015 2:16 pm

I fear this is where Australia is headed…. By the way love your blog Anthony.

Reply to  Dave
July 3, 2015 2:22 am

err WE in Aus are already FAR beyond this ! I cant put any soil over 10cms high across my land without express permission and inspection(at a cost) by the bozos from local council and the jackbooted thugs in dept primary industry and…environment management
I might upset the water flow
well YES! that was the bloody idea to stop my land draining the water off into the paddock next door and flooding it…and then it keeps going n floods the road!
allowing it to be slowed and soak in gradually is NOT what they consider sensible it seems
however:-) if:-) I call the area where I happen to scrape soil to that height and make a bit of a path..I can call it a firebreak and they can do jackshit about it:-)
and I can also claim prior use in some spots as decades old drainage..of course it sorta got covered over and Ive had to UNcover it:-)
you have to really read the regs carefully indeed:-)

Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 3, 2015 2:32 am

oh ..and..
Mt barker council in Sth Aus tried to TAX farm dams about 2? yrs back
so the farmer pays land taxes pays to dig and maintain a dam
to stop erosion n water stock sometimes to irrigate feed..
they had figured to allow a pisspooor 10% as untaxable as stock water n the rest by guesstimate volume be taxed.
epic fail
theyre finding n fitting flowmeter to private bores all over the place
they cost the landowner approx 10k to even test for water n much more to fit out, but the ptb reckon they can add some income n gain access 24/7 by making them subject to govt stupid..
and the the supposed rebates to get rainwater tanks in homes to reduce runoff in cities stormwater damage to streams etc
yeah, so thousands paid for tanks that got a price rise the same amt as the rebate( nice profit from tank cos) that of course was NOT rebate but funded BY taxes..
and now the govt has a record of EVERY tank the size and the owners name n details on record.
for when the signed Lima agreement decades ago- containing the roof area /TAX applicable TO any stored water..- has some pratt decide to raise rates fees and start using that cruddy EU designed scumbag revenue raiser!!!!!!!!!!

Richard of NZ
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 3, 2015 4:35 am

I suggest you re-read JoNova’s blog regarding the Thompsons. Australia, in this case WA has already gone well down this path.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 3, 2015 2:46 pm

Thank you for your input “oz speaks up”, I am aware of many of those things you have spoken of, we currently rely solely on rainwater and for the moment what God gives us is not taxed but the council sure as hell want to, I guess my point was that things are still getting worse and there seems to be less and less common sense used in these cases, some councils officers are emboldened by their power, not a good thing in my view, common sense needs to prevail, I guess we will have to run for election?

Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 4, 2015 1:32 pm

I suppose the guys in the Riverina many years ago knew what they were doing, the state Gov. tried to charge them for the water in the dams, so they sent back back an Invoice to the relevant government body as “Water Storage Fees” to the same amount that they had been charged… Never heard from them again.!

July 2, 2015 2:17 pm

I fear that Australia is heading down this road also….

Science or Fiction
July 2, 2015 2:31 pm

May I propose that you include a link to the proposal by EPA.

Leon Brozyna
July 2, 2015 2:40 pm

The EPA is just working to make sure we have clean water … like all government entities, all they want is to do all those wonderfully selfless acts to take care of us poor, stupid peasants … just remember that the power to do things for you is the power to do things to you.

Tom in Florida
July 2, 2015 2:43 pm

Perhaps, in light of all that is going on, it is time for the South to rise again and secede from the Union. The Confederate States of America sounds even better this time around.
As we approach the 4th of July every one should realize that it is a hollow celebration due to the destruction of the principals of the Constitution. Instead of a celebration we should be holding a funeral.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 2, 2015 4:14 pm

I’m gonna assume Tom, that you’re not a hive-plant provocateur, but rather a garrulous dumb-ass who has been hittin’ the sauce a little early today. But to answer your DHS-magnet musing:
NO!!!THE SOUTH DOES NOT NEED TO RISE AGAIN AND SECEDE FROM THE UNION!!!. This is not rocket-science, Tom, ol’ buddy. So get a grip on yourself.

Reply to  mike
July 2, 2015 4:16 pm

mike – Tom’s 2nd paragraph is spot-on.

Reply to  mike
July 2, 2015 5:10 pm

Thank you for drawing my attention to the second paragraph of Tom’s comment–my earlier comment was, indeed, focused on his first paragraph. My cut:
-Although in full sympathy with Tom’s concern for the Constitution’s integrity, I think his proposed wake for the same is over-wrought. My best estimate of the situation is that the hive has pretty much shot its bolt, and that the persuasive power of freedom-loving Americans is in the ascendancy and likely to prevail. What is required, however, is that our beloved Constitution be defended intelligently and effectively. And, in that regard, ham-actor, blow-hard calls for secession do not fill the bill, but, quite the contrary, provide grist for the hive’s agit-prop mill.
-For all the seemingly unassailable advantages at its disposal, the hive’s assault on the Constitution has proven astonishingly inept. In particular, the hive prizes top-down, party-line loyalty above what the tacky bourgeoisie would term “success”, in the real world. And the hive’s inherent dysfunction, here, renders it a ponderous, vulnerable, Goliath-like monstrosity that lends itself to a take-down, one cog at a time, by Freedom-lovers if they just use their spunk, initiative, entrepreneurial-acumen, and boldness that is the birthright of free men.
-The WUWT blog and others like it, show just how the hive can be undone, and are of especial value since the main battlefield of the “Good Guys” vs. the “Bad Guys”, IMHO, has been the blogosphere, with the “climate wars” as the epi-center of the fight. Think about it–even the Pope hasn’t been able to turn the eco-flake’s fortunes around. I mean, like, we’re talkin’ the Pope, himself, for (St.) Pete’s sake!

Reply to  mike
July 2, 2015 5:30 pm

Why not?
The feral govt is beyond control, the leeches are now running the asylum.

Reply to  mike
July 2, 2015 9:54 pm

War of Northen Aggression, that is. Or else War Between the States. The term Civil War is the most inaccurate, since the war was between a coalition of Southern state governments and the federal government, which at the time was just a coalition of Northern state governments. It was not a civilian uprising.

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 2, 2015 4:24 pm

It is interesting to reflect on how different things might have been if some hotheads had been prevented from shelling Ft. Sumter. Keep in mind that the question of a state’s right to withdraw from the Union has never been argued before SCOTUS. On the eve of the Civil War (or “War of Northern Aggression”, if you prefer) some four or five members of the Supreme Court were from the South (depending on how you count Maryland). Had the South sought redress for its grievances through the courts, the national map might be very different today.

Reply to  D.J. Hawkins
July 2, 2015 9:00 pm

While much was made about the shelling of Fort Sumter initiating the War of Northern Agression, it was just an excuse for Lincoln to invade the South. Here’s a tidbit you won’t learn in classroom history books: not one person died in that ‘battle’ on either side. A shell ignited an ammo storage room in the uncompleted fort, and the commander surrendered before someone got hurt.
The fort personnel had one man who became a historical figure named Abner Doubleday.
The whole affair was less of a situation than the recent Baltimore riots.

Reply to  D.J. Hawkins
July 2, 2015 9:55 pm

War of Northen Aggression, that is. Or else War Between the States. The term Civil War is the most inaccurate, since the war was between a coalition of Southern state governments and the federal government, which at the time was just a coalition of Northern state governments. It was not a civilian uprising.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 2, 2015 7:45 pm

Mike, take a chill pill. That you disagree with me is OK, but by calling someone with a different view is ” a garrulous dumb-ass who has been hittin’ the sauce a little early today” or a “ham-actor, blow-hard” makes you sound like a pseudo climate scientist who thinks he is the smartest man in the room.
Simply state your objection as to why we shouldn’t dissolve this mutated Union that has been taken so far from the principles of the Founding Fathers that it can never be saved.
Never forget that our own Declaration of Independence proclaims “that whenever any for of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government…”

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 2, 2015 8:48 pm

Hey, slick, I referred to you as a “garrulous dumb-ass” and a “ham-actor blowhard” because that’s what you are. Let me prove it.
I cannot think of anything I could say to you that would convince you that this “mutated Union”, should not be dissolved–so you win, Tom. Yay, Tom! Look everybody! Tom’s the Winner! So now, Tom, that there’s no further need for you to run your Reb-wannabe mouth, just what are you going to do about your “big idea” to “dissolve this mutated Union”?
-No longer pay taxes to the “mutated Union”?
-Take that “Napolean”, that is your pride and joy, and, with the able assistance of your fellow re-enactors, fire-off a pot-shot at Fort Sumter?
-Whistle Dixie?
-Play with yourself?
Or do you have something even better than all that? Time for action, Tom, not more chit-chat. Right? So what’s your move, Tom?
And if you don’t have a good move, Tom, then I’ll regard you as all mouth and your absurd, comic-book theatrics as a distraction and a drag on the work of those who really are waging an effective defense of the Constitution. Not that you’d mind, of course, if you’re a hive-plant provocateur.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 2, 2015 9:06 pm

Mike, I find your ad hominem attack on someone you disagree with to be intolerant and offensive.
Monitors, I am requesting that you delete his posts and consider whether he should be allowed to make further comments.

DC Cowboy
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 3, 2015 4:33 am

That response is very much over the top. It is offensive and entirely outside of the scope of WUWT comments. I have no idea why the mods are allowing it to remain. Maybe calling for a 2nd secession of the Southern States is a bit much, but your responses are far worse.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 3, 2015 5:06 am

@ Mike “Time for action, Tom, not more chit-chat. Right? So what’s your move, Tom? ”
Participate in the call and movement for the Convention of States. What’s your move?

Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 3, 2015 8:31 am

Yr “Participate in the call and movement for the Convention of the States. What’s your move?”
My move? Well that’s to ask you for further info, if you’re inclined to provide the same, Tom. Namely, just who are the people, by name, in this call and movement for the Convention of the States who are specifically seeking for the “South to rise again and secede.” Again, I’m only interested in those seeking secession, if you’d be so kind, excluding those who are merely proposing this, that, or another amendment to the Constitution in some matter other than secession.
Even if you’re not inclined to do me any favors, Tom, a forthcoming response to my above request might be of interest to others who share your views and are looking for direction for their further action. Likewise, such info will help those suspicious that you might be a provocateur, to resolve their doubts–for what that’s worth.
And finally, Tom, you must have realized that your call, up-thread, for the South to “rise again” and “secede from the Union”, was flamboyant and provocative and invited the thought that you were angling for another Civil War on the model of the last. And, in that regard, you continued to remain rather coy in your subsequent comments, not letting on that your Rebel-yell “headline” was really just a “teaser” for a lawerly, coat-and-tie, workin’-this-deal-in-an-air-conditioned-office-space “call and movement for a Convention of the States”. So why all the manufactured drama, on your part, Tom?, I’m left wondering–while keeping in mind that this important blog has been a constant target of the lefties and they’d love to tag it as a harborage for “nut-job extremists”, and they are not above the employment of false-flags (Google: “hate crime hoax”). But just sharing my thoughts with you, Tom, with this last–that’s all.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 3, 2015 10:05 am

re: mike July 3, 2015 at 8:31 am
Thank you for a reasoned and non ad hominem reply. That’s all you really had to do in the first place. No one that I know in supporting the Convention of the States has called for secession. That was my call. Participating in trying to get the Convention of the States passed is the constitutional way to add amendments to the Constitution without Congress being able to meddle in the process. However, I have no faith that it will be successful. There will be too much disagreement with what amendments are appropriate. Even if those amendments were passed and ratified in accordance with the Constitution I am sure there will be all sorts of legal challenges which will end up being upheld by the Courts. The only solution then is for States to secede and form their own country among themselves. The south is a good place to start and I wholeheartedly approve and support any effort to do just that.

Science or Fiction
July 2, 2015 2:45 pm

The amount of text related to the rule is unfbelievable. Wake up!!!
How can anyone relate to this amount of text. Designed by the bureaucracy for the bureaucracy.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Science or Fiction
July 2, 2015 3:28 pm

“We have to pass it (…er…adopt it) to know what’s in it!”

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Gunga Din
July 2, 2015 4:20 pm

If only it were just that bad. Obamacare was passed by a combination of legislators who (a) hadn’t read the bill, or (b) weren’t allowed to read the bill before a scheduled vote. At some 2,000 pages, it’s unlikely anyone would be able to read and study it adequately anyway. When the first challenge to the law came before the Supreme Court, the justices actually joked to attorneys for both sides — “You don’t expect us to actually read the law in it entirety do you?”.
So the bill was passed by people would didn’t, wouldn’t or couldn’t actually read it. It was ruled valid by justices who blandly admitted they had no plans to read it.
When the second challenge reached the court, prepared this time by people who had read the bill and pointed out it was being implemented in a way not permitted by the actual text, the justices in the majority ruled that a literal reading of the law’s text was incompatible with it’s intent, and therefore the words on the page were to be ignored. How these justices could claim to know the law’s intent was left unstated — perhaps they saw visions or heard voices in their heads. Or perhaps they went the more modern route and watched an episode or two of The Conversation, or followed Oprah on Twitter.
What was not to my knowledge commented on was the grim irony of this ruling coming out just after the 800th anniversity of the Magna Carta, which marked the start of the journey away from absolute and arbitrary rule by the crown.
There is no point in having a legislature if it can pass bills which nobody has, or can, or intends to read, which are then implemented according to the whims of the crown executive, and approved by courts based on a divining of the law’s “intent”.

Reply to  Gunga Din
July 2, 2015 5:33 pm

The really sad thing was that the man in charge of writing the law has stated on tape that limiting the subsidies to only state run exchanges was done on purpose because they wanted to entice the states to set up their own exchanges.

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Gunga Din
July 3, 2015 5:02 am

I have to admit that I cannot understand how, if at all, the American system of government works. Down here in the Antipodes it is impossible for a bill to pass into law without being fully read and discussed, not merely in Parliament, but in theory, by the wider populace who can then make submissions. A bill is not usually passed into law in bulk, but each and every clause is discussed and if need be, voted upon. Any clause that is rejected does not become part of the law although it may be amended and resubmitted as part of the bill. It also goes through various committee stages which can alter the original bill and even the final draft has to pass the house at least twice. The idea of passing a bill to find out what is in it is an anathema to democratic government.
p.s. We also have the ability to bring private criminal prosecutions against anyone who we consider to have breached the law and not been held accountable. The concept of permitting only government bodies to have absolute power over the justice system is something we would not permit.
The parliament does however have the ability to call before a powerful committee anyone who parliament considers to have maligned parliament in some way. This committee ( the Privileges Committee) has the power to set punishments up to and including gaol time to those found guilty of what they have been accused, if found guilty.
Additionally, every year a small celebration is held, even though government have tried by devious means to ban it, which reminds said government that people are capable of taking action against governments that over claim their powers and rights.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
July 3, 2015 3:05 pm

Richard of NZ
July 3, 2015 at 5:02 am
I have to admit that I cannot understand how, if at all, the American system of government works.

As laid out in the original Constitution and limited by The Bill of Rights, the system was well designed with only few tweaks needed. One of the problems is that over time the system has been greased with greed and lust for power and the Bill of Rights has been subverted to those ends. (ie In the 1st Amendment regarding religion, it speaks of Congress making no law… It says nothing about the Courts separating God from the beliefs of The People of the country. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/07/03/christian-bakers-fined-135000-for-refusing-to-make-wedding-cake-for-lesbians.html?intcmp=latestnews&intcmp=latestnews )
We have a well designed system. Not perfect. But we need to clean out the rust. Greed and lust only promote corrosion.

Reply to  Science or Fiction
July 2, 2015 7:05 pm

Good find, S or F. Hat tip to you.
75 pages of regulations to define “waters of the US”. Yes it is that bad. But what happened to the term “navigable waters of the US”, which congress specifically put in to restrain EPA activities to already defined federal waters?
Oh, I see, here it is, on page 56(!),

Section 112.2 is amended by
removing the definition of ‘‘wetlands’’
and revising the definition of
‘‘Navigable waters’’ to read as follows:

Now in 112.2 we find these gems, all regulated:

Prairie potholes.
Carolina bays and Delmarva bays.
Western vernal pools.
Texas coastal prairie wetlands.

Contemplate the notion of a prairie pothole as a US Coast Guard maintained and patrolled Navigable Waterway. Next, we have “significant nexus”, and “adjacent water”, expanding the reach of regulation due to some loosely defined proximity.
All these regulatory joys just on the second half of page 56, alone. One can only wonder what other regulatory feasts await discovery in this horrific work. This is, in fact, the last step in a long process of the EPA taking control of everything. This process has been going on for a very long time, indeed.

George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA
July 2, 2015 2:46 pm

Write your US congressman, US Senators, Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader) and John Boehner (Speaker of the House) to defund EPA completely.

Reply to  George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA
July 2, 2015 4:14 pm

Boehner and McConnell are career politicians and are not Conservatives. They led the charge for TPP. Only the International Corp’s count – the citizens are no longer relevant.

Reply to  kokoda
July 2, 2015 5:22 pm

Once these people get shown the ” pigs through” (and all the others feeding from it), they completely succumb to the thrill of money and power, very few survive their two day indoctrination in DC after being elected.

Mike Henderson
Reply to  kokoda
July 2, 2015 6:32 pm


Reply to  kokoda
July 4, 2015 12:15 pm

Asybot: Once they “get shown the pigs through trough …” FIFY. Cue the infamous “Spell Checkers” speech.
If they were shown the “pigs through” they would not survive two days. You don’t want to see how laws, or sausages, are made.

Tom J
July 2, 2015 2:52 pm

Yep, they’ve brought the Chicago Way to the national stage. In Chicago, if a city ward didn’t show a majority vote for the mayor that ward didn’t get its snow plowed till after the more ‘friendly’ wards got their snow plowed. That’s assuming the non friendly ward even got its snow plowed. It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some antagonism in the WH for Alabama.

July 2, 2015 3:00 pm

This Administration’s goal is that when a dog pees on the sidewalk, to call it a water way.

Flood control engineer
July 2, 2015 3:12 pm

Got a client who built a ditch and two pools for flood control in about 1975. They are now considered wetlands that cannot be altered. 18 months into permitting for permission to alter them. Client is not happy. I however am billing big money for the work. Cappy work but profitable. If the epa changes go through we have no chance.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Flood control engineer
July 2, 2015 3:32 pm

One wonders just what “interstate commerce” the EPA thinks can pass through them.

Reply to  Gunga Din
July 2, 2015 5:35 pm

Migrating geese cross state lines.

July 2, 2015 3:37 pm

One could make the argument that the EPA’s wholesale adoption of UN “goals” and implementing such as regulations for the United States is sedition in service of foreign interests. Congress, however should not be allowed to dodge their responsibility in setting these maniacs loose. Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, all need to be taken in rein.

July 2, 2015 3:48 pm

Good to know that if you like your puddle you can keep your puddle.

July 2, 2015 3:53 pm

I am sure this ruling will be more heavily enforced in “red” states than blue ones.

July 2, 2015 4:09 pm

The EPA has metastasized.

Neil Jordan
July 2, 2015 4:31 pm

California Coastal Commission will set the example:
California Coastal Commission – Tyranny by Small Changes
Monday, May 4th, 2009
By changing course in incremental, small steps, over a long period of time, no one saw the Coastal Commission’s changes to the BIG picture along the coast of California. Everyone’s attention was skillfully diverted to the beach. No one thought to turn around and look the other way at the thievery in Broad Daylight going on in the hills.
. . .
If the California Coastal Commission made a statement it was taken as fact. For instance. A pothole in a road in the coastal zone becomes a wetland or a mud puddle on a farm where cows roll on a hot summers day is also deemed a wetland.
. . .
Extortion by any other name…
In Nollan v. California Coastal Commission U.S. 825 (1987) The United States Supreme Court found the California Coastal Commission guilty of extortion and specifically prohibited the commission from conditioning building permits in exchange for land.
However, the commission found a way to circumvent the court’s ruling.
By inventing a new requirement for permit approval called a “dedication of property,” the commission was able to continue exacting land without fear of legal recourse nor loss of property tax revenue.
Wait. There’s more.
Commission staff wrote, in part: “The commission’s staff biologist reviewed the wetland delineation for the project site and determined that wetland growing on a partially buried degraded asphalt sidewalk covered with (one to six inches of) soil and gravel fill and gravel-filled sandbags is a highly disturbed and degraded wetland. Under the current condition (as of March), people walk through the area and continually impact the wetlands.”
More details here:

more soylent green!
July 2, 2015 4:47 pm

The EPA is an agency is search of a mission. It’s already accomplished everything envisioned when it was created. Now it has to make up problems to justify it’s continuing existence.
I favor a sunset law on all agencies. Every 10 years (on a staggered basis), each agency should have to justify it’s continued existence and be renewed by Congress and the administration. If the agencies charter has been fulfilled, it should not be renewed.
Many of our laws and regulations could use the same scrutiny.

July 2, 2015 5:10 pm

I wish there was a site that listed all the times that private property rights of individuals were taken away (or property interfered with/fined/etc.) by the EPA. The site should be open to individuals to upload their individual cases.
I was once asked, when having an online discussion, about UN Agenda 21 – “is taking away our individual property rights”. I was asked to give a real case where Agenda 21 had taken someone’s property rights. They can be found on the internet, but it takes a lot of time to find them. If there is a site like that, I haven’t found it. (Google wouldn’t direct anyone to that site). Maybe other search engines would.

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
July 2, 2015 7:51 pm

I don’t know of any site that shows a collection of cases. If you use search phrase ‘landowner’s property declared wetlands’ you’ll get various stories from all over the place. I haven’t looked at them individually to see if they are the result of EPA rulings or of local acts created as a result of Agenda 21. Perhaps if you preface your search with the name of a state, a region or a county you’ll have better luck. It seems to me that the urban papers do not carry stories but local papers sometimes do. Landowner associations that have online newsletters will have stories.

Neil Jordan
Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
July 2, 2015 10:30 pm

Pacific Legal Foundation is a start.

July 2, 2015 5:23 pm

Samuel Dill, a British historian writing in 1898 about the late Roman Empire under the rule of Theodosius (379-395):
“… by an inexorable fate, the claims of fancied omnipotence ended in a humiliating paralysis of administration; in which determined efforts to remedy social evils only aggravated them until they became unendurable; in which the best intentions of central power… were mocked and defeated alike by the irresistible laws of human nature and by hopeless perfidy and corruption in the servants of government.”

July 2, 2015 5:26 pm

“EPA assures us that they will refrain from applying the rule so broadly”
I guess there is a first time for everything.

old construction worker
July 2, 2015 5:51 pm

Each State must pass Data Quality Act and stop “secrete science”.

July 2, 2015 6:10 pm

I’m excited to see one of my elected officials in this venue and pushing back against the runaway EPA. Keep up the fight, Mr. Strange!
Dell Wilson
Madison, AL

July 2, 2015 6:27 pm

The EPA is an unconstitutional federal monstrosity that should be shut down and replaced by state and local environmental standards that reflect the unique desires of that community.
With federal EPA regulations, all 50 states are subject to the tyranny of EPA’s 1,000,000 Commandments, that are capriciously enforced and vaguely written to assure a maximum state of fear and anxiety exists…
The EPA is a weaponized tool of Statists used to attack its enemies: coal, oil, ranchers, private property rights, Big Agriculture, political opponents, industrial production, energy, ad nauseam…
This tyranny will continue until the EPA is shut down for good.

Reply to  SAMURAI
July 2, 2015 6:34 pm

The EPA was created by a GOP president.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Joel D. Jackson
July 2, 2015 7:18 pm

Who’s running the show right now?

Reply to  Joel D. Jackson
July 2, 2015 7:22 pm

Doesn’t matter if it was created by Hitler or by Mother Theresa. What matters is what it is now, and what (if anything) can be done about it.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Joel D. Jackson
July 2, 2015 8:01 pm

Wake up. Joel.
This isn’t about about political parties.
Recently there was a post here about “Sometimes Rush is right”.
I remember several elections ago (7 or so, I think) during the Republican primaries, Rush actually took a stand against one of the front runners. Who it was isn’t important. His reason is. He said, to the best of my recollection, “He isn’t against Big Government. He just thinks a Republican can run your life better than a Democrat.”
Think about it.

Reply to  Joel D. Jackson
July 2, 2015 8:59 pm

I know it was started by Nixon and look at the crook he turned out to be…
There is fundamentally no ideological and philosophical difference between the GOP and the Democrats. Both parties believe in Statist policies of ever increasing power and control by the Federal government and the subordination of State’s rights and sovereignty and of individual freedoms of life, liberty and property rights…
Both parties see the Constituiton as an a acrimonious impediment to their Progressive ends..

Reply to  SAMURAI
July 3, 2015 3:42 am

Statists? A good term but perhaps too narrow. Simply, those that seek power over others. The EPA is merely a symptom of the political process. Socialism and derivatives (from Nazism, Communism to whatever one calls China today) always win but eventually lead to issues you see today in Puerto Rico and Greece. Call them socialist, power hungry, egoist, narcissist, statist, oligarch, etc., they’re all about concentrating power by any means and dictating. However, they always win eventually with the usual failures which lead to chaos and disaster. Consider Puerto Rico and Greece. Even better, send a roll of toilet paper to Venezuela.
It could be baked in the DNA – a preset mental preference for a single tribal leader.
The Paris conference is merely a gathering of these folks which many oligarchs will use to expand their controls.

Just Steve
July 2, 2015 6:31 pm

The current situation we face with regulatory over reach and unConstitutional rulemaking has its roots in the 1800s….and in Wisconsin, the cradle of modern progressive thought.
Progressives figured out, way back then, that if you control the bureaucracy it matters not a whit who wins elections. Even someone who won two elections by a landside, Ronald Reagan, had his problems with the entrenched bureaucrats, specifically at the State Department.
The following link is a good primer on the subject:

July 2, 2015 8:15 pm

Stalin and Mao would be proud of the EPA

Reply to  PhotoPete
July 3, 2015 9:29 am

Their chocolate ration has been increased.

Reply to  RobRoy
July 4, 2015 6:20 am

The chocolate ration has been increased to 4 ounces. [previously 5 ounces] Winston.

Stephen Richards
July 3, 2015 1:18 am

I hope American have the sense to never vote back in again the communists of the democratic party. The clear_out after the election will be something to behold

jack morrow
July 3, 2015 3:54 am

“They” are in control and there is nothing anyone can do. They are going to get re-elected too because they pay most peoples bills. ALAS!

Ian W
July 3, 2015 4:11 am

The approach being taken is incorrect. The EPA should be supported in all its regulatory endeavors. Indeed, it should be made a cause for instant dismissal of EPA staff failing to enforce their regulations. So prairie potholes will be assessed by state regulators who will then require the full analytical report on the safety of the water that should have been written by the EPA on each and every pothole defining its precise position, size, water content. Failure to produce reports on potholes will be considered a cause for instant dismissal and fines and may lead to imprisonment of the failed EPA staff and their supervisors. as by their dilatory behavior they are risking the health of the Nation.
No sarc – as I believe that if things are as important as they claim then they should take responsibility and be accountable for failure to quantify the health of all these waterways that they claim they have jurisdiction over.

July 3, 2015 5:37 am

“Oh America! Oh America! What have you done?
By your government, not by terrorists, you’ve been overrun…..”
From: http://rhymeafterrhyme.net/oh-america-oh-america-youre-no-longer-so-free/

Gary Pearse
July 3, 2015 8:32 am

This is by-the-book Agenda 21’s way of curtailing private property. This is the UN speaking through the US government. They have every municipality signed up already to Agenda 21 – a stealth document crafted by the best of the Euroleft to make it look like a nice good neighborly project . They have nice intrusions into private property like asking property owners to preserve a particularly nice small piece of wooded land for all to enjoy and then making it something you might have to get permission for cutting a branch off it or picking a raspberry. This motherhoody looking creation is a tool for ending private property one acre at a time – they are patient. The pond and brook control is a nice piece of work that takes care of the rest of the property. This international Sosilliest anti- American organization is also mainly funded by American taxpayers! Good grief, what is it going to take. I believe it would be found unconstitutional to support this organization, a legal matter that should be investigated. Defund this Trojan horse before it’s too late.

Science or Fiction
July 3, 2015 12:48 pm

Who would have thought that the president has actually issued and executive order about identifying and reducing regulatory burdens???????:
Executive Order 13610 of May 10, 2012 Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens:
“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to modernize our regu- latory system and to reduce unjustified regulatory burdens and costs, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. Regulations play an indispensable role in protecting public health, welfare, safety, and our environment, but they can also impose significant burdens and costs. During challenging economic times, we should be especially careful not to impose unjustified regulatory requirements. For this reason, it is particularly important for agencies to conduct retrospective analyses of existing rules to examine whether they remain justified and whether they should be modified or streamlined in light of changed circumstances, including the rise of new technologies.”
This pile of crap issued by EPA must be so totally in breach with the executive orders by the President:
Has the bureacrazy taken over your country? So many words – even in the executive order by the president.
What about a “cut the crap” campaign? I guess it would be possible to win an election on that motto.

Jerry Tangren
July 3, 2015 6:18 pm

We’ve become a people governed by administrative tribunals…

Brian H
July 3, 2015 8:45 pm

The EPA won’t defy the courts? The WH has shown no such reluctance.

John L
July 3, 2015 8:57 pm

I fear they are going to come after my dripping wee-wee.

July 5, 2015 8:23 am

The easiest way to rein in the EPA is to cut back their funding to about 10 to 20 percent of current levels, and then force them to prioritize. I guarantee that there will be a lot less nonsense coming from the agency.

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