Today, April 21, Representative James Oberstar (D – MN), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced “America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act”. While the Rep. Oberstar heralds the Act as a successful measure to protect America’s waters, in reality the legislation has little to do with clean water. The bill proposes striking the word “navigable” from the Clean Water Act of 1972, rendering every body of water in the United States under the jurisdiction of the federal government. This is an unprecedented expansion of government regulatory measures, and will ultimately infringe on the private property rights of American citizens.
By modifying a single word from the original text, the new version of the Clean Water Act will bring everything from lakes to ponds to puddles under the authority of the federal government. This would impact the development of land, as developers will have to wait even longer to obtain building permits from bureaucrats in Washington. Farmers and ranchers are also threatened by the new legislation, as it could have an effect on their methods of tending crops and livestock.
In reality, the proposed bill from Rep. Oberstar does little to actually protect America’s waters and more to simply impose big government where it does not belong.
Click here to see a pdf of the letter the Property Rights Alliance is sending to all members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.