The tension between the states and the federal government is built into the U.S. Constitution and the Tenth Amendment stipulates that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
The Constitution was written in an era of monarchies by men who were determined to preserve the rights of individual citizens and of the sovereign republics, the states, who were coming together for their common protection and welfare without ceding any powers to the federal government that would deprive them of the governance of their states.
The Founding Fathers were well aware that it is the nature of all governments to seek to accrue more and more power at the expense of citizens and states or provinces within their borders. The rise of the so-called environmental movement has given ample proof that their concerns were well-grounded. I yearn for the day when we stop calling them “environmentalists” and simply the communists that they are.
The latest in the long war between a rapacious federal government, filled with departments and agencies seeking to control every square inch of the nation’s land mass has been an audacious power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency in league with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There are specific steps any agency must take before it can assert federal control of any kind.
Using the original Clean Water Act which permits the EPA to only regulate “navigable waters”, i.e., rivers and lakes, this rogue agency and the Corps is seeking to ignore the restriction and assert control over every body of water in the U.S. including a puddle of rain water or a pond in your backyard. If it weren’t so absurd and so outrageous, it would sound like science fiction, but the science the EPA uses is usually invented out of thin air.
Specifically, the EPA has issued “a guidance document” saying they want to eliminate or just ignore the word “navigable” so they could control “all waters of the United States and all activities affecting all waters of the United States.”
Senator John Barasso (R-WY) has introduced the “Preserve The Waters of the US Act” (S-2245) to ensure that the EPA and Corps are held in check and required to obey the Clean Waters Act’s previsions and intent.
In March the co-chairs of the National Conference of State Legislatures wrote Sen. Barasso, noting its opposition to the way the EPA and Corps are trying to circumvent “the formal rulemaking process, inclusive of a federalism consultation process with state and local governments” noting that their unilateral declaration of expanded powers “would effectively preempt existing state authority and are too significant to be addressed in a guidance document.”
The Land Rights Network of the American Land Rights Association is calling on Americans to write, call, email and fax their senators to support S-2245. The reason is simple and at the same time chilling. Unless S-2245 is enacted, the EPA and Corps would have unprecedented powers to seize the water or land from families, farmers, small businesses and all others, devastating economic and recreational activity, as well as many small communities throughout the nation that depend on such waters.
The permitting process alone, a major instrument of destruction that the EPA and other agencies of the federal government uses, would explode to the point where some bureaucrat in Washington would decide if you could install a pool, dig a drainage ditch, install a watering pond for livestock, and thousands of other common uses of water.
Parenthetically, the federal government owns nearly 650 million acres of land; almost thirty percent of the land area of the nation. Much of it is in western states and, indeed, it owns virtually the entire state of Alaska. Aside from land that has been put aside as Indian reservations, national parks and forests, and for use as military reservations such as army posts, marine bases, and naval stations, the federal government, spurred on by environmental groups, has been buying private property for habitat protection of alleged endangered species. It is bogus. It is communism.
If the EPA and Corps is not restricted from their latest effort to ignore the Clean Water Act’s limits, they will initiate the further destruction of the Constitution and the rights of both the states and the American people.