Attention, Florida: Obama Ready to Go to War Over Water
The Obama administration reportedly has threatened to veto a bill that would shift regulatory power over water and wetlands to the states.
The Office of Management and Budget released a statement Tuesday saying the administration "strongly opposes" House Resolution 2018 "because it would significantly undermine the Clean Water Act and could adversely affect public health, the economy and the environment."
The measure, sponsored by Reps. John Mica, R-Fla., and Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., would give states the final say over water-pollution standards and enforcement, as well as dredge-and-fill permit approvals required by mountaintop-removal mining operations.
The bill sailed through Mica's House Transportation Committee last month along a mostly party-line vote
Republicans say "vast overreach" by the EPA is costing jobs and hindering economic recovery. Florida is currently engaged in a long-running battle with the agency over unprecedented numeric nutrient standards that public- and private-sector groups estimate will boost compliance costs by billions of dollars annually.
The administration said the bill would eliminate EPA's ability to take action when states do not set tough standards.