The Obama administration has adopted the approach of broadly reinterpreting existing federal laws so as to construe new authority not explicitly granted to it. Nowhere is that more evident than in the administration’s plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. The president has the right to prioritize which laws it enforces according to its limited resources. However, President Obama used that authority to go beyond not enforcing current immigration laws, but also rewarding illegal immigrants with green cards.
Now, it appears a similar approach is being used at the EPA to redefine the legal meaning of the term “navigable waters” as found the in Clean Water Act. The new definition will allow the EPA to have far reaching regulator control over farmlands. In response, Virginia’s 21 GOP state senators signed on to a letter calling on the EPA to refrain from the broad new definition of “navigable waters”. The senators refer to two Supreme Court rulings which limited the scope of the federal government under the act. They openly question how the EPA can now conjure up a new meaning which grants it far reaching jurisdiction. The state senators also point out that congress has not authorized any such broadening of the EPA’s regulatory reach. Thus far, not a single Democrat state senator is opposing the EPA. If the new interpretation proceeds, the resulting regulations may cost state farmers millions of dollars.
Thanks Keith Mann for showing me this article.