Trump Begins Plan To Do Away With Clean Water Or Something
Is it any wonder that President Trump is at war with the majority of the U.S. media when they run headlines like this one at the NY Times?
The headline and article at the Washington Post, among others, isn’t any better. What’s it all about?
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday aimed at rolling back one of former President Barack Obama’s major environmental regulations to protect American waterways, but it will have almost no immediate legal effect, according to two people familiar with the White House plans.
The order will essentially give Mr. Trump a megaphone to direct his new Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, to begin the complicated legal process of rewriting the sweeping 2015 rule known as Waters of the United States. But that effort could take longer than a single presidential term, legal experts said.
An advance copy of the order was viewed by The New York Times on Monday. It is the first of two announcements expected to direct Mr. Pruitt to begin dismantling the major pillars of Mr. Obama’s environmental legacy.
In the coming week, Mr. Trump is also expected to sign a similar order instructing Mr. Pruitt to begin the process of withdrawing and revising Mr. Obama’s signature 2015 climate-change regulation, aimed at curbing emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants.
Because both of those rules were finalized under existing laws long before Mr. Obama left office, they cannot be simply undone with a stroke of the president’s pen, legal experts in both the Obama and Trump White Houses have said.
Neither rule took that long to enact. In fact, both Obama rules are under court orders, as the Obama administration was sued over these rules. Neither of them are in effect
That could take several years. To follow the law, Mr. Pruitt will have to withdraw the current Obama administration water regulation and craft a new version of the rule, along with a justification as to why it would be legally superior to the earlier one. That would be subject to a public comment period before it is finalized, and it could face new lawsuits afterward.
There are several ways that the Waters Of The United States and Clean Power Plan can be deleted. First, Congress can pass a law doing away with all or part of either. In fact, there’s already legislation out there to do just that with the Waters rule.
Second, Pruitt can simply follow the rulemaking process, essentially in reverse. The rationale? That there’s no need for the rules to start with. That the federal government should have no power over tiny streams and ponds and such that do not leave the state. There are lots of reasons.
Trump can also refuse to defend both the Waters and Clean Power Plan in court.
It does say something about federal rules that it is supposedly so difficult to get rid of them, and it’s not something good.
Trump should announce the beginning of another rule: the Clean Credentialed Media Plan. In this, the US media would need to reduce their “carbon footprint” in their operations. I wonder how many media outlets would react to having these rules on themselves?
Regardless, doing away with either rule will not have an effect on clean air, land, or water.