An opinion piece at Fox News is ringing alarm bells for farmers and ranchers as President Biden and environmental activists are set to push forward with WOTUS (Waters of the United States) regulation that will give the government jurisdiction over every body of water in the country.
“If you live in rural America, odds are that hearing the phrase ‘waters of the United States’ – more commonly known as WOTUS – gives you some unease,” authors Dan Newhouse and Zippy Duvall stated at the beginning of their piece.
“We don’t blame you. For years, farmers, ranchers, small business owners, landowners, and families throughout rural America have faced the possibility of thousands of dollars in fines per day from the federal government in an egregious example of government overreach,” they pointed out.
The federal government’s heavy-handedness over water has been years in the making and could determine what farmers and ranchers do with streams and irrigation ditches. This is very concerning because currently, environmentalists in states such as Wyoming are contending that ranchers are polluting waters in the state with runoff.
Biden’s EPA continued its attack on rural America with its new WOTUS regulation.
This job-killing, overreaching land and water grab is a dream killer for farmers and ranchers, small businesses, and local economies.
Washington bureaucrats have no business regulating ditches.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) December 30, 2022
“U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) released a statement Friday in response to the Biden Administration’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency released its final rule regarding the definition of ‘waters of the United States’ (WOTUS),” Sheridan Media reported.
“Barrasso, in his statement, said President Biden is raising from the dead the failed policies of the Obama administration, as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is one of the worst offenders. He said this misguided rule suffocates Wyoming’s farmers, ranchers, and landowners alike, and the rule isn’t about protecting America’s waterways – it’s about putting Washington in control of everything from ponds to potholes. Senator Barrasso closed his statement by saying Wyoming doesn’t need the federal government telling us what to do with our farms, ranches, and land, Americans deserve clean water and clear rules – not more government overreach,” the media outlet added.
The Fox News opinion piece goes on to lay out the danger of the WOTUS rule now that it has been resurrected and how it impacts agriculture in the United States.
“In 2015, the Obama-Biden administration enacted a WOTUS rule that essentially gave the federal government jurisdiction over every body of water in the country, including streams and ditches,” the authors noted. “Now, the Biden administration is back with a new WOTUS rule that will create more uncertainty and condemn communities across the country to regulatory limbo.”
.@POTUS is raising from the dead the failed policies of the Obama admin. The #WOTUS rule is one of the worst offenders. Make no mistake, this isn’t about protecting waterways. Americans deserve clean water and clear rules – not more government overreach.https://t.co/yOK8tcJVP7
— Sen. John Barrasso (@SenJohnBarrasso) December 30, 2022
“Congressional Western Caucus members have fought back against this mandate by working to uphold the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and by joining over 200 House Republicans in rejecting the current expansive rulemaking, especially before the U.S. Supreme Court decides a case that would directly impact this very issue,” Newhouse and Duvall explained.
The move by Biden and the EPA is suspect especially since the Supreme Court is prepping to rule on the definition of “navigable waters.”
“The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Sackett v. EPA in October and is expected to release a decision in early 2023. The case that will undoubtedly help clarify the definition of ‘navigable waters.’ So, on top of encroaching on private property rights, the Biden administration is wasting taxpayer dollars on an effort that will likely be disputed by the highest Court in the land. Still, the administration seems intent on sowing the seeds of uncertainty for all of those impacted by WOTUS regulations – namely our farmers and ranchers,” the authors asserted.
“As farmers, we understand that those of us closest to the land, whose livelihoods depend on clean water, clean air, and healthy ecosystems, are the best stewards of our resources – not the federal government. We should not need teams of attorneys to determine whether we can plow a field or make improvements to our land. Unfortunately, that will be the reality with a return to burdensome and confusing water rules,” they stated, echoing the sentiments of Barrasso from Wyoming.
The Biden administration's #WOTUS Rule announced today resuscitates the burdensome Obama-era interpretation of the Clean Water Act and gives EPA vast authority over lands across the country, particularly in Alaska, with more wetlands than any other state.
My full statement. 👇 pic.twitter.com/g3RnYXsNmy
— Sen. Dan Sullivan (@SenDanSullivan) December 31, 2022
The machinations by the federal government, if successful, would put an undue burden on farmers and ranchers causing prices to inflate further and possibly instigating food shortages in the United States. Not only that, it could well put many food producers out of business entirely.
“An amicus brief submitted to the court by the American Farm Bureau Federation details how agriculture producers bear the brunt of expansive WOTUS regulations, and an amicus brief submitted by members of the Western Caucus further outlines how regulatory overreach can actually harm effective efforts to protect and conserve clean water,” they further wrote.
“Instead of assisting farmers’ and ranchers’ efforts to protect clean water, the EPA’s proposed WOTUS rule is a boon to activists who will use it to stall, delay or halt rural development, eliminate incentives for locally-led conservation, and further erode the confidence of America’s farmers and ranchers in the federal government,” the authors charged.
(Video Credit: Fox Business)
The piece goes on to state that the radical rule implementing leftist environmental justice will harm Americans and their food supply at a time when we can least afford to have it happen.
“The Western Caucus and the American Farm Bureau Federation, our nation’s largest advocacy organization for farmers and ranchers, have worked together to hear firsthand the impacts WOTUS will have on our agriculture industry, and the message is clear: the Biden Administration’s rule will not result in cleaner water, but it will threaten our nation’s food supply chain,” the authors conclude in a call to fight the government’s overreach that could potentially have catastrophic effects on the nation’s food supply.
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Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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