Friday, January 15, 2016

Who's with us on WOTUS?

Cattle production is hard enough without the Environmental Protection Agency's meddling. But their Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule, makes it even more complicated.

The WOTUS rule was supposed to clarify the definition of WOTUS, but instead, it has caused confusion. The new definition seems to expand EPA's reach to nearly all waters across the country with no bounds.

The Government Accountability Office is currently reviewing EPA's tactics to promote the rule, including social media campaigns that may be considered "covert propaganda" to drum up support for the rule.

Iowa has been fortunate to have several high level officials standing up in opposition to the WOTUS rule.

  • Senator Ernst’s resolution of disapproval (S.J. Res. 22) to put an end to the expanded definition of the WOTUS rule passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support. Senator Ernst has been very vocal and active in her work to stop WOTUS, saying that the resolution was “a major win for our hardworking farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and small business who are continuously ignored by the EPA.” Senator Grassley also voted to support the resolution. 
  • Governor Branstad showed his support for Iowa farmers yesterday when he joined a lawsuit filed by 13 other states challenging WOTUS.  “The WOTUS rule is a federal overreach that imposes significant barriers and impairs Iowa’s ability to advance innovative, water quality practices that would actually advance our common goal of water quality,” Branstad said. “I ran for governor in 2010 to return predictability and stability to Iowa and this federal rule increases, rather than decreases uncertainty for Iowa farmers and small businesses.”
  • Congressman David Young, Steve King, and Rod Blum voted in support of a House resolution of disapproval, to nullify the expanded WOTUS rule. "Like many Iowans, I value agriculture as the backbone of our state and as an integral part of our national economy. I also respect the rights of our landowners, for all across Iowa we recognize the importance of our private property rights. Unfortunately, farmers and job creators often tell me they feel as if they are under attack by their own government. This is wrong and I will continue to fight for them and against this overreach by Washington bureaucrats and the EPA," says Congressman Young. (Senator Loebsack voted against the resolution.)
The resolution now moves to the president's desk for his signature or veto.

For more information on how WOTUS could affect cattle production, check out this comprehensive article in the Iowa Cattleman magazine.

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