Andrew Wheeler, newly appointed acting administrator of the EPA, said when President Donald Trump asked him to take over from the now-departed Scott Pruitt, he told Wheeler to do three things: “Clean the air, clean the water, and provide regulatory relief.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy's departure from the Supreme Court will no doubt increase the output of one of Washington's main commodities: pundit speculation. But the long-term impacts of his resignation will not be known for some time.
The effort to craft a new rule defining "waters of the U.S." will take another step forward today when EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers send a new proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget for review.
If the “waters of the United States” rule became law, it would “freeze up” the use of farmland as landowners try to determine “whether every minor drainage ditch, dry arroyo, and nearby puddle is covered by the Clean Water Act,” farm groups said in an amicus brief filed in federal court in North Dakota.
The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved bills to fund the USDA, FDA and Army Corps of Engineers that steer clear of environmental issues addressed by the House’s versions of those same spending bills.
House Republican leaders pick up the pieces this week after another embarrassing defeat on a farm bill, which was weighed down yet again by controversial food stamp reforms before sinking because of an intra-party feud over immigration policy.