Republicans Hit a New Low With Claim The Clean Water Act Is An EPA Land Grab Scheme


It is likely that Republicans understand that nothing frightens ignorant Americans more than warning them that some group is coming to take something from them. Whether it is ISIS coming for their freedoms, President Obama coming for their guns, or the federal government coming to seize their land, Republicans use fear of loss to advance their agenda. One will never hear Republicans warn Americans the oil, chemical, or logging industry is coming for their access to clean water, and instead resort to fear-mongering to protect their favorite special interests’ blatant disregard for a basic and necessary human right. One might be inclined to believe that no-one in America is against clean water, but this is America where the rights of corporate oil, mining, and logging interests trump the rights of citizens access to clean water.

Over the past couple of months Republicans and their conservative cohorts have ramped up opposition to a “proposed” new rule the Environmental Protection Agency has taken eight years to devise. The rule is still in the public commenting stage and was created to comply and clear up ambiguity in federal Clean Water Act regulations as a result of a series of Supreme Court decisions. Republicans have claimed the new rules are a devious EPA scheme to seize private citizens’ land, and issued letter to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers citing their opposition to specific details in the EPA’s proposal that do not exist.

In the Senate, Republicans introduced legislation banning the EPA and the Army Corps from ever moving forward again to protect Americans’ clean drinking water. The bill’s main sponsor, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) said, “After already calling on the EPA and Army Corps to withdraw the proposed rule, I want to make sure that the expansion of regulatory jurisdiction over ‘Waters of the United States’ is shelved for good. This straightforward legislation prohibits the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the secretary of the Army from finalizing the rule or ever trying a similar regulation in the future.”

In the House, Republicans held a series of hearings on the proposed water rule to highlight fierce opposition from the prospective sources of pollution in the stone industry, energy industry, and developers. They did not, however, invite any Americans to advocate for clean drinking water or provide observers with the proposed new rules for clearly obvious reasons. Instead of reading the proposed EPA rules defining which sources of drinking water the Clean Water Act can protect, they sent a letter to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers detailing precisely the opposite of the proposed rule’s intent.

They wrote, “The rule would place features such as ditches, ephemeral drainages, ponds (natural or man-made, prairie potholes, seeps, flood plains, and other occasionally or seasonally wet areas under federal control.” According to the rules still in the public commenting stage, the Clean Water Act specifically cites the features the Republican lawmakers listed as not identified as “water” under regulation by the Clean Water Act. However, Republicans are protecting their favorite polluters in the oil, chemical, mining, and logging industry with a tried and true tactic to prevent the EPA from protecting Americans’ access to clean drinking water; fear mongering and claim the Environmental Protection Agency is on a “land grab” crusade using the Clean Water Act.


On one conservative website there was a typical fright-fest about Obama’s EPA exercising its “unfettered right” to seize private land. The screed warned that the EPA will “take over your private property and tell you that you can’t build your dream home. But you still have to pay taxes on the land even though you can never use it. The most frightening thing about the EPA’s over-reach is that they have found a way to exercise eminent domain in a way they never have to buy the land they seize. The conservatives relating a story about the EPA seizing land using a rule that is still in the ‘public comment’ period for another month before going it can be implemented the.

They claim an Idaho couple wanted to build a home on their own half-acre lot, but the “proposed” EPA rule empowered the agency to swoop in, evict the owners, and forbid them from “building or even putting up a pup tent” for at least three years; and a hundred-thousand dollar fee.” The conservative site also claims the rule that has not been enacted already has “tens of thousands of Americans succumbing to the wishes of the federal government without recourse, including the EPA issuing as many as 3,000 compliance orders.”

Remember, the proposed rule has taken eight years to develop to come into compliance with “a series of Supreme Court rulings,” and the EPA is still accepting public comments for about another month. However, that has not stopped a conservative fright crusade warning Americans their homes and lands are in jeopardy from a ruthless federal agency plot to seize Americans private property, or destroy the oil, mining, and logging industry depending on which Republican is fear-mongering.

Republicans are well aware the new rule is not a “land grab” as their fear-mongering asserts, or an expansion of the 40-year old Clean Water Act; but facts or truth is never a consideration when Republicans attack the EPA for their campaign donors. Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe specifically told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that the new rule will actually “reduce the scope of waters covered under the Clean Water Act compared to the existing regulations on the books,” and that “it would not assert jurisdiction over any type of waters not previously protected over the past 40 years.” The only reason there are new rules is because there have been two Supreme Court rulings that upheld the constitutionality of the EPA protecting Americans’ access to clean drinking water, and simply clarifies, according to the SCOTUS rulings, which bodies of water the EPA can legally protect from polluters.

The EPA is very clear, and forthcoming, about the proposed rule’s intent to identify, per the Supreme Court, which American waters it can protect from polluters according to the Clean Water Act. There are absolutely no prohibitions on; agriculture using pesticides or herbicides, any kind of manmade or natural pond, no oversight over any groundwater in the nation, or ditches, prairie potholes, or seasonal mud puddles that appear to be of particular concern to Republicans. However, the Clean Water Act does protect lakes, up and downstream tributaries leading to lakes and rivers. and of course lakes and coastal waters; all targets of the mining, chemical, and oil and logging industry for dumping and spilling pollutant with impunity.

Despite the Clean Water Act keeping drinking water safe, the oil, mining, and logging industry have spent “years and millions-of-dollars to pollute Americans’ water with veritable impunity. Of course they tasked Republicans to go to any length to allow them to continue unabated and they reverted to their typical tactic; fear mongering. One would think that after a rash of chemical, oil, and toxic waste spills in lakes and rivers this year alone, Americans would be outraged at Republicans for opposing a common-sense rule according to two Supreme Court decisions. However, Americans have showed they are apt to respond to fear instead of survival and it is likely why Republicans will garner plenty of support to stop the EPA and the Clean Water Act.

26 Replies to “Republicans Hit a New Low With Claim The Clean Water Act Is An EPA Land Grab Scheme”

  1. opposition to this law will also allow people who are trying to buy up water rights to do so without federal recourse. Remember the Republicans say the water is not a right even though it is the most important thing in every person’s life.

    Think about it. Water is the most important thing in every person’s life. Over money, profits, politics. Isn’t it amazing how the Republicans are fighting so hard to make sure that we do not saddle future Americans with that and yet the Republicans are fighting to ensure that future Americans do not have an environment with living in

  2. These new age Republicans seem to never let facts get in their way. Instead they spread flat out lies to cover the fact that their corporate sponsors don’t want the EPA to keep them from polluting everyone’s drinking water so they can make big profits. They’re trying to scare people into allowing them to destroy the country and their low intelligence base eats it up.

  3. By destroying all readily available sources of potable water, they can dole it out to us at whatever price — in tribute or complience– they ask, and bring swift or slow death to the inconvenient by withholding it. Detroit is their lab. Tomorrow, the rest of our world.

  4. I would love to bring a pitcher of water into a congressional meeting and pour it into the rep’s glasses and after they drink it announce, this is water from a contaminated well from fracking. Then watch them freak out.

    Until it affects them directly they don’t care about us only their million campaign donors.

  5. Clean water is important but can’t be legislated from Washington. States need to own it and enforce it. They need to work in cooperation with adjoining states in issuing policy, corrective action and penalties. The EPA is not the right group because they can’t solve problems that affect real people at local levels.

    If the EPA wants to pass a law, then require states to have current clean water provisions that apply to that state, that mandate testing and EPA oversight much like a quality system used in the chemical industry. But get out of the way of locals trying to farm and raise cattle.

  6. Please share your sources with me on specific locations of well water that is polluted by fracking. I want to learn the facts.

  7. 4 states confirm water pollution from drilling

    States Confirm Hundreds Of Water Contamination Cases From Fracking, Drilling

    Pennsylvania Finally Reveals Fracking Has Contaminated Drinking Water Hundreds Of Times

    Should I mention fracking and earthquakes?

    Study links Oklahoma earthquake swarm with fracking operations

    Fracking’s Latest Scandal? Earthquake Swarms
    Turns out that when a barely regulated industry injects highly pressurized wastewater into faults, things can go terribly wrong.


  8. To say that the Republicans have “hit a new low” is an oxymoron. The Republicans ARE the Old Low, the Present LOW and if we are not vigilante and do not VOTE then they will be the ONLY game in town and the Future LOW for all of humanity. Republicanism, Conservatism and the New Crazy TeaPottier cabal MUST be defeated if we are ever to have not only a future…but a future world that has not become some post-apocalyptic Theocratic Reich were even life it’s self will be a privilege and not a right.

  9. Thank you it took me a few minutes to find the sources of my comment. You beat me to it.

    Poor Carl he doesn’t want to believe that he is being lied to by the Koch republican whores. Carl needs to take a drink of contaiminated water and report back to us his results.

  10. How would the states regulate drinking water and fracking if they are legislators who are owned and operated Koch whores.?

    Would those legislators vote against the drillers who paid for them to be elected? I don’t think so Carl. Either give up your troll paycheck from the oil and gas companies, turn off Fox or return to the loony bin. People like you are so sad.

  11. He probably already has
    There is a growing concern over drinking water contaminants and how they can result in cancer and specifically brain tumors. Much of this has to do with scientific studies showing how environmental pollutants are a serious issue. These chemicals may be hazardous when it comes to your body and they can be found in the air, and also in your water.

  12. The water in this country belongs to every citizen, not just individual states. It is critical to maintain clean water.

    What a mess we’d have if it was handled state by state. Water moves. One stupid state can ruin it for others.

    Just look at NJ, what a polluted mess and Chris Christie has loosened the EPA regs as much as he can for his industry friends.

    Your idea is terrible.

  13. It isn’t just fracking that has cotaminated drinking water. Uranium mining has contaminated lakes, rivers and groundwater from which people get water.

    And in Canada

    There were also article from Portugal and other countries.

    Yet Republicans want to allow uranium mining within 5 miles of the Grand Canyon.

    No, no, hell no!

  14. In ND the state can’t keep up with all the illegal dumping of radio active fracking filters and unreported oil spills. They don’t have the state staff or resources to keep tabs on who is doing what and when it comes to polluting the water and soil thanks to all the fracking and oil drilling.

    For a state making so much money for the oil and gas industry they don’t seem to reaping much in the way of revenue, mostly just wages and out of control growth.

  15. When rethugs claim a water grab, for clean h2O you know they are the ones to benefit. Who is calling for the public parks to be sold? rethugs. Who owns a very large amount of water rights in South America? Shrub of course. when rethugs scream about something you can bet the farm, that is what they are doing. The exact thing, or worse.

  16. THANK YOU dj. This person must not listen to the news, or read the papers. it has been a subject of great comment. Or else he listens to fox only.

  17. How ignorant can you be.
    Just look at TEAxASS the most polluted state…yup they really know how to take care of their water….NOT.

  18. Yeah Carl, that state rights bullshot that allows North Crazylina to pollute their rivers that run into the Ohio that provides water for several communities. One thing for sure, you won’t have to worry about the brain tumor DJ wrote about, as you obviously are missing that organ.

  19. I guess Carl hasn’t seen the YouTube videos of water coming out of sinks that you can strike a match to and a fire starts, either, djchefron. This water flows into people’s homes where fracking is done. Never mind the fact that some states’ lawmakers have made it impossible for their citizens to sue these fracking companies for any damage fracking does to their health and property. Some lawmakers have even deemed the chemicals used in fracking to be “proprietary,” thereby, making it impossible for any citizen to know what is being injected into the ground and released into the air. It’s sad to say, but there are millions of Americans who don’t know certain things, and the people they depend upon to inform them about them ( Fox News, RW blogs, pundits, politicians, radio entertainers, etc.) are driven by greed and money which makes telling them the truth a disincentive.

  20. I expected healthy debate, not HATE.

    Shows how few people even have a clue how corrupt Washington and federal control of our lives can be. Those are the folks who decided to track you (NSA) and continue to want to control our lives. I am proud of the state I live in and I deplore the Federal government owning my personal data, health records, etc. They have never proven they can handle the job and I don’t expect they will do it with clean water either.

  21. The land and water are public assets, which we are expected to pass down to future generations.

    The EPA is our agent for making sure public land, water and air are not destroyed by profit-seeking entities.

    The capitalist running dogs are attempting to privatize public assets, so they can exploit them, rent their use back to our owners, and trash them. Congress writes the terms of the lease, EPA makes sure the renters don’t trash the place.

    The whiners are like Bundy, trying to steal public land and water.

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