Search Results for ‘wotus’

POTUS reopens WOTUS

On Tuesday President Trump signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to reopen the rulemaking process to reconsider its assertion of jurisdiction during the Obama years over large tracts of land remote from navigable water. “The regulation, known as the Waters of the U.S. rule, broadened the definition of the type of water body that would fall under EPA’s formidable clean water enforcement powers, making everything from streams to ditches and watering holes subject to the EPA’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ oversight.” [Washington Examiner; Jonathan Adler]

Good. This was an outrageous regulatory power grab. If Congress decides that it has some Constitutional authority to seize control over seasonal moist depressions on farmland, it should say so explicitly. And if it does, it might want to prepare to set aside large sums under the Fifth Amendment, which states that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

“At least 32 states have sued to prevent the new regulations from taking effect, and the Sixth Federal Appeals Circuit Court stayed the new rules in October, 2016.” [Ronald Bailey, Reason] When you manage to tick off 32 states badly enough for them to sue, you might have gone out on a limb. More: AP, Jonathan Wood.

Environment roundup

  • California state agency in charge of Prop 65 enforcement seeks to effectively reverse judge’s recent ruling and exempt naturally occurring acrylamide levels in coffee from need for warning [Cal Biz Lit] Prop 65 listing mechanism requires listing of substances designated by a strictly private organization, spot the problem with that [WLF brief in Monsanto Co. v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment]
  • Yes, those proposals to ban plastic straws are a test run for broader plastic prohibitions [Christian Britschgi, Honolulu Star-Advertiser] Impact on disabled users, for whom metal, bamboo, and paper substitutes often don’t work as well [Allison Shoemaker, The Takeout] Surprising facts about fishing nets [Adam Minter, Bloomberg, earlier]
  • “A closely watched climate case is dismissed; Will the others survive?” [Daniel Fisher on dismissal of San Francisco, Oakland cases] Rhode Island files first state lawsuit, cheered by mass tort veteran Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) [Spencer Walrath/Energy in Depth, Mike Bastasch/Daily Caller]
  • Meanwhile back in Colorado: Denver Post, Gale Norton, other voices criticize Boulder, other municipal climate suits [Rebecca Simons, Energy in Depth, earlier here and here]
  • Waters of the United States: time to repeal and replace this unconstitutional rule [Jonathan Wood, The Hill, earlier on WOTUS]
  • “What you’re talking about is law enforcement for hire”: at least nine state AG offices “are looking to hire privately funded lawyers to work on environmental litigation through a foundation founded by” nationally ambitious billionaire and former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg [Mike Bastasch]

Environment roundup

Land use and environment roundup

Environment roundup

  • Farmers were among leading opponents of 2015 WOTUS (Waters of the United States) rule, and for good reason [Lawrence A. Kogan, WLF, earlier]
  • “The Antiquities Act has become a tool for presidents to secure their legacies with special interests.” [Jonathan Wood/Reason, earlier] “State Officials Urge Local Consultation When Designating National Monuments” [Aileen Yeung, Western Wire, more]
  • West Hollywood imposes onerous exactions if you build multi-unit housing. Takings alert [Ilya Shapiro, David McDonald on Cato certiorari petition in case of 616 Croft Ave., LLC v. City of West Hollywood]
  • Random goofball’s letter to editor calls for violence against oil and gas workers. I wouldn’t mess with oil and gas workers, actually [Western Wire]
  • Vermont Law School, known for environmentalist mission, gets $17 million loan from U.S. Department Of Agriculture [Paul Caron/TaxProf]
  • “Is everything a crime under the Endangered Species Act?” [Jonathan Wood, related on McKittrick policy] “Vigorous Dissent from Fifth Circuit’s Denial of Rehearing Should Help ESA Frog-Habitat Case Leap to Supreme Court” [Samuel Boxerman with Katharine Falahee Newman, WLF]

Environment roundup

  • Here come big, beautiful eminent domain cases over condemnation of land for the US-Mexico wall [Gideon Kanner, Ilya Somin]
  • Judge greenlights “public trust” climate change suit, an exercise in court- and lawyer-empowerment [Samuel Boxerman, WLF]
  • Next Friday, Mar. 17, Cato will host panel on pending SCOTUS case of Murr v. Wisconsin (property rights, regulatory takings) with Roger Pilon (Cato), J. Peter Byrne (Georgetown Law), and Ilya Somin (George Mason Law), with opening remarks by Todd Gaziano (Pacific Legal) and moderated by Ilya Shapiro (Cato) [register or watch online]
  • Swallowing dubious health claims, Maryland advisory panel urges schools to turn off wi-fi. Plenty wrong with that [ACSH]
  • By 31-69 margin, Los Angeles voters crush anti-development Measure S, “NIMBYism on steroids” [City Observatory, earlier]
  • Tackling WOTUS is just the start: “The Clean Water Act Needs A Reset” [Reed Hopper, Investors, Jonathan Wood, related]

Environment roundup

  • Cato podcast with William Fischel on his new book Zoning Rules! The Economics of Land Use Regulation;
  • If traveling with your pet skunk, avoid Tennessee [Mental Floss, “15 Surprising Animal Laws That Are Still on the Books”]
  • “How Land-Use Regulation Undermines Affordable Housing” [Sanford Ikeda and Emily Washington, Mercatus via Market Urbanism] Head of Obama administration Council of Economic Advisers gives speech pinning high housing costs on land use regulation, but don’t get hopes up about policy changes quite yet [Randal O’Toole, Cato]
  • Panel on role of Congress in environmental law at Federalist Society National Lawyers’ Convention with David Schoenbrod, Eric Claeys, Matt Leggett, and Nicholas Robinson, moderated by the Hon. Steven Colloton [YouTube]
  • “Market urbanist” position criticized (Steve Randy Waldman) and defended (Jeff Fong);
  • Mysteries of Los Angeles: drive to limit large residential developments is being led in part by… AIDS Healthcare Foundation? [L.A. Times]
  • “On the misuse of environmental history to defend the EPA’s WOTUS rule” [Jonathan Adler, earlier on Waters of the United States rule]

EPA’s lobbying on “Waters of the United States”: no big deal?

My local paper, the Frederick News-Post, ran an editorial on Monday that 1) saw nothing especially wrong in the Environmental Protection Agency’s illegally expending tax money to stir up pressure on Congress to support a wider interpretation of EPA power; 2) claimed that the fuss over tax-paid lobbying was for lack of any substantive critique of EPA’s “WOTUS” (Waters of the United States) rule, although a majority of states have challenged that rule, the farm and rural landowner communities have been up in arms against it all year, and a federal appeals court has agreed to stay it.

So I wrote this letter in response, which ran today. There wasn’t space for me to dispute the FNP’s peculiar notion that to oppose the water rule as exceeding the EPA’s statutory authority is to encourage the “anti-science, climate change denial crowd,” which tends to reinforce my sense that “anti-science” and “climate denial” are turning into all-purpose epithets increasingly unhooked from any particular relationship to science or climate. (cross-posted at Free State Notes)

Environment roundup