President Obama Courts Environmentalists

Today, President Obama will address employees at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the White House, the President wants to tell the employees how much he appreciates their hard work. This comes at quite a convenient time, considering the President’s recent campaign to court environmentalists.

First, President Obama delayed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the election in order to appease environmentalist concerns, and then he allowed a permanent ban on new mining claims in the area surrounding the Grand Canyon. His visit today is just the next step in the process of cementing support from environmentalists on Election Day.

But what does this courtship mean for the rest of us? Well, it means continued power grabs and free reign by the EPA. For instance, we could get more rules that regulate the dust found everywhere in the world. Or, we could get rules that continue to bankrupt businesses and families.

Take Sackett v. EPA, a property rights case that has been brought all the way to the Supreme Court. Five years ago, the Sacketts wanted to build their dream home on an undeveloped lot in a subdivision partially surrounded by other homes. Due to a devious interpretation of a provision in the Clean Water Act (CWA), the EPA claimed the Sacketts violated the law. The provision, which protects “navigable waters of the United States” against pollution, was broadened to include land known as “wetlands.” Because, you know, people boat through wetlands all the time.

The EPA issued an order to the Sacketts to stop building their dream home and restore the land to its previous state, or face a $37,500 per day fine. Or, they could have sought a special permit that would have cost in the neighborhood of $200,000. We know the government is hurting for cash but, milking every day families who just want to live in peace? Oh wait, that’s exactly the liberal tax plan!

The Sackett case is important because it highlights just how destructive the EPA’s policies could be to everyday citizens. We know that the EPA’s coal ash regulations are threatening numerous businesses, thousands of jobs and could cause the price of energy to go up, but now we can clearly see how EPA rules could ruin your family.

This is exactly why we need to pass legislation like H.R.750 and S.228, the Defending America’s Affordable Energy and Jobs Act. Both of these bills would stop all the job-killing global warming regulations from the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. These regulations place massive costs and time burdens on businesses, preventing them from hiring. They also drive up energy costs and do very little, if anything, to curb greenhouse gases which cause global warming – if it even exists.

It’s time to stop the EPA’s regulatory reign over our country. This agency passes thousands of regulations that aren’t even approved by Congress, cost businesses billions of dollars and prevent hiring. If we want our economy to recover, we need to restrain the EPA.

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