Sep 09 2014
U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) co-sponsored and voted for the Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act (H.R. 5078) that passed 262 to 152 in the U.S. House on Tuesday afternoon. The legislation was crafted in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' proposal to expand federal authority by redefining "waters of the U.S." under the Clean Water Act. H.R. 5078 will uphold the federal-state partnership to regulate the Nation's waters by preserving existing rights and responsibilities.
Rogers submitted the following statement about the bill for the Congressional Record:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in favor of H.R. 5078, the Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act.
"Over the last five years, we have seen attempt after attempt to add layers of environmental red tape to any economic development that our states, counties, and cities may undertake. The new “Waters of the United States” proposal is no different. With this, the EPA seeks to gain jurisdiction over most of the country by claiming authority to regulate dry beds, ditches, pipes, farmland ponds and anywhere water could conceivably run. They would require local communities, businesses and individuals to navigate the costly and time-consuming process of obtaining additional permits for activities around these waters, making it harder to mine coal, to construct roads and shopping centers, and even to build homes. This is one of the largest federal power grabs we have ever witnessed in this country, and there is no question that the economic impact would be profound.
"In my home state of Kentucky, mining permits have ground to a halt and onerous regulations are shuttering power plants, threatening the fossil energy industries that have been the backbone of our energy security for decades. I am dismayed at efforts that this Administration has undertaken with the express purpose of eliminating coal from our nation’s energy supply, despite the fact that this fuel provides a cheap, abundant source of energy that keeps energy costs down and productivity up. With this bill, we stand firm against the latest attempt by the EPA to put up road blocks for those working to create jobs. These efforts are fruitless attempts to legislate through regulation, and the Congress must exercise its prerogative to prevent this kind of bureaucratic overreach that would be crippling for the U.S. economy. H.R. 5078 will uphold the federal-state partnership to regulate the Nation's waters, allowing states to continue regulating certain waters within their individual boundaries, and providing farmers, construction companies, energy suppliers, and manufacturers with much needed certainty as they work to create jobs and grow the economy.
"I urge a yes vote on H.R. 5078."