Mullin continues to fight federal land grab
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 14, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills to stop the deeply-flawed proposed rule defining Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act.
Both measures were supported by Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s efforts to expand federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and further extend the reach of federal regulators into peoples’ everyday lives, their businesses and onto their land.
The House has taken a two-pronged approach to fight the federal overreach. Today, House lawmakers approved the Regulatory Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1732), directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw the current rule defining Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. The legislation would require consultation with stakeholders, including those in the public and private sector, state and local governments, before any new rule is drafted. Additionally, all submitted public comments must be carefully considered in any additional rulemaking efforts. The measure was approved by a vote of 261-155.
Additionally, on May 1, 2015, the House passed the fiscal year 2016 energy and water appropriations bill, which included language prohibiting the Corps from using funds to develop, implement or enforce any change to regulations pertaining to the definition of waters under federal jurisdiction.
Mullin, who is a cosponsor of H.R. 1732 and who had urged the funding restriction language, said the fight over this proposed rule is an important step in blocking the federal overreach.
A letter from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) called the funding restriction a “highly problematic ideological” rider.
Mullin disagreed with the OMB’s characterization of efforts to stop the intrusive proposal.
“Instead of coming together to work out differences, this administration likes to paint those who disagree with them as ‘ideological’ opponents,” said Mullin. “The track record of this administration regarding this particular rule is that they have knowingly trampled over states’ rights and purposely excluded those who will be impacted by this bad rule from the discussion table.”
The proposed rule, over which more than one million public comments were received during the public comment period last year, is expected to be released this spring. A nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) report states the proposed rule was sent to the OMB in early April. The OMB is typically the last stop before a rule is issued, the report states.
“I will continue to be relentless in my opposition to this federal power grab,” Mullin continued. “I will use every tool at my disposal to fight this tooth and nail.”
Mullin has worked to educate the public about the ramifications of the proposed rule, including holding four public meetings in 2014 and speaking to affected groups like the local governments and home builders.
“Many people probably don’t realize how water regulations can affect the cost of a new home,” said Paul Kane, executive vice president and CEO of the Homebuilders Association of Greater Tulsa. “Under the EPA’s proposed regulations, land developers will be burdened with mountains of regulatory hurdles which increase the cost of new housing developments by tens of thousands of dollars. These additional costs will, of course, be passed on to new home buyers, with no discernible improvement of the environment. This is a case study in regulatory over-reach. Congressman Mullin is at the forefront of slowing down the EPA and we commend and support him in his efforts.”