When President Trump addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation Sunday night, he also announced his administration plans to withdraw an Obama-era water supply rule.
The President said it would have given the federal government “vast and unlimited power to restrict farmers’ access to water.”
As POLITICO’s Morning Energy Report explained, the Army Corps of Engineers had argued in 2016 the rule was needed in order to clarify how water stored in its reservoirs could be used beyond the purposes authorized by Congress after a series of court decisions and on-the-ground issues had spawned confusion. But Western states and water users balked at the proposal, arguing it would usurp states’ authority over their water.
The President’s repeal of the Obama administration’s controversial WOTUS rule provided one of Trump’s biggest applause lines of the night with the Farm Bureau. “I terminated one of the most ridiculous regulations of all: the last administration’s disastrous Waters of the United States rule,” he said, arguing that when he signed the repeal he was joined by “people that haven’t cried in many years … and they were crying” — despite the fact that live video coverage of the signing showed none of them were actually crying.
The Trump administration’s WOTUS rewrite to vastly shrink the reach of the Clean Water Act is still expected soon. ME hears it could come as soon as this week.
Source: POLITICO’s Morning Energy Report.