GOP Moves to Speed Up Undoing of WOTUS

Washington, D.C. reports indicate Republicans in Congress are moving ahead with a plan to exempt a repeal of the Waters of the U.S. rule from the Administrative Procedures Act.

Politico’s Morning Energy Report indicated it would result in a speed-up of the undoing of the Obama administration creation that drew the ire of farmers and ranchers across the country, including those in Oklahoma.

Here’s how ME reported it:

NOW SEEKING WOTUS CARVE-OUT: Republicans are pushing a policy rider that would exempt a repeal of the Waters of the U.S. rule from some legal requirements under the Administrative Procedures Act, effectively speeding up the process for its undoing. This comes despite GOP complaints that former President Barack Obama’s environmental regulations violated the rule of law. But lawmakers don’t seem too concerned this time around. Pro’s Annie Snider and Anthony report: “Legislative language that Republicans want added to the government spending deal would go further than previous policy riders aimed at killing the Waters of the U.S. rule by exempting Pruitt’s withdrawal of the regulation from the requirements of ‘any provision of statute or regulation’ that might be relevant.”

“Republicans who are pushing this rider, they clearly understand that Pruitt’s scheme to get rid of the Clean Water Rule is flatly illegal, and so the rider is designed to make the law go away,” said Jon Devine, senior attorney at the NRDC. But claims of overreach are falling on deaf ears on the Hill, the duo reports. For one, Sen. John Hoeven , a top critic of the Obama rule and member of the Appropriations Committee, said he “wouldn’t be concerned” about allegations of inconsistency. “Anything we can do to eliminate the Obama-era WOTUS, that’s just a bad rule that we need to get rid of,” he said.