Obama Just Had His Hand Slapped Hard By Fed Judge Who Blocks This ‘Inexplicable’ Overreach

Calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest effort to extend its control over virtually all U.S. waterways “inexplicable, arbitrary and devoid of reasoned process,” a federal judge has just blocked another attempt by President Obama to bypass Congress.

The Washington Times reports that Judge Ralph Erickson has issued a temporary injunction that prevents the EPA “from claiming oversight of millions of acres of land that contain small bodies of water.”

Critics of the EPA initiative have argued that the far-reaching new rule would give Obama’s official environmental activists vast new powers that would threaten water rights and usage by untold numbers of individuals, including farmers.

The Times article notes the critics’ argument that “the EPA would control lands near ditches with no possible connection to the rivers and lakes that the [original] law was designed to protect.”

The judge in North Dakota who blocked the EPA’s sweeping new rule agreed with critics, supporting his injunction with strong words that slap down what many see as yet another power grab by the Obama administration:

The rule asserts jurisdiction over waters that are remote and intermittent waters. No evidence actually points to how these intermittent and remote wetlands have any nexus to a navigable-in-fact water.

Thirteen states had sued to block the EPA from implementing its new water rule. Immediately after the federal judge hit the brakes on the agency’s action, the EPA put out a statement saying it would honor the judge’s order only in the states that had taken the administration to court. The remaining thirty-seven states, said the EPA, would see the sweeping changes to water regulations go into effect right away.

The Washington Times reports:

“In all other respects, the rule is effective on August 28,” the agency said in a statement. “The agencies [EPA and Army Corps of Engineers] are evaluating these orders and considering next steps in the litigation.’”

As the Times points out, this action by the federal judge in North Dakota is “the latest in a long list” of federal rulings challenging Obama’s authority to expand the reach and power of the executive branch.

Western Journalism has reported extensively on the actions of the federal court in Texas that put a halt, at least temporarily, to Obama’s executive amnesty orders for illegal immigrants. That case is working its way through the judicial system, as are many others alleging presidential overreach.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Rancher Fights Back After EPA Fines Him Over $16 Million For Building This On His Property

Wyoming rancher Andy Johnson believes a man’s land is a man’s land to use wisely. That’s why he built a stock pond for his animals and his family. The federal Environmental Protection Agency wants to teach Johnson a $16 million lesson in obedience to its will.

But Johnson is fighting back. In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court on Thursday, he is arguing that the EPA overstepped its authority in the case.

“This goes a lot further than a pond,” he said. “It’s about a person’s rights. I have three little kids. I am not going to roll over and let [the government] tell me what I can do on my land. I followed the rules.”

Johnson, of Fort Bridger, built a stock pond for his animals back in 2012. He said he was sure to get every last necessary permit from the Wyoming authorities.

This was more than just a farming project. He and his wife Katie spent hours creating not just a watering hole, but a place for his family to enjoy ducks and geese, as well as a private playground for his children.

“We went through all the hoops that the state of Wyoming required, and I’m proud of what we built,” Johnson said. “The EPA ignored all that.”

The EPA claimed Johnson violated the Clean Water Act. They ordered him to return his property to the way it was before his work, with federal oversight required to be sure it was done their way. Dismantling his work within the 30 days the EPA gave him was “physically impossible,” Johnson said.

Johnson didn’t do what he was told. The EPA then started piling up fines of $37,000 per day, which since 2012 now total more than $16 million because he has not paid a cent.

Johnson admits he wants to win, but the case is about more than fines. It is about teaching his children how they should live.

“This is showing them that they shouldn’t back down,” Johnson said. “If you need to stand up and fight, you do it.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Obama’s Toxic Environmental Pollution Agency

Here in my adopted home state of Colorado, orange is the new Animas River thanks to the blithering idiots working under President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency.

It’s just the latest man-caused disaster from an out-of-control bureaucracy whose primary mission is not the Earth’s preservation, but self-preservation.

As always, the government cover-up compounds the crime — which is why the agency’s promise this week to investigate itself has residents across the Rocky Mountains in stitches. Or tears.

After the EPA and officials and their contract workers accidentally spilled three million gallons of pent-up toxic sludge on August 5 from a defunct mine in San Juan County that hadn’t operated since 1923, EPA apparatchiks delayed notifying residents for more than 24 hours. They vastly underestimated the volume and spill rate of the gunk. Then, while refusing to release data, EPA head Gina McCarthy flew to the glowing river to fecklessly declare that the water “seems to be restoring itself.”

The cleanup costs for the Colorado spill alone are estimated at $30 billion. Small farmers, ranchers, and tourist-related businesses will be reeling for years to come — yet the EPA is simultaneously pushing forward with Draconian ozone regulations (based on cherry-picked junk science) that will punish the state’s residents with no discernible health benefits.

If only Mother Nature could help wash away the institutionalized corruption that has been leaching from Obama’s EPA headquarters since Day One:

–BP oil spill data doctoring. Former White House Director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Carol Browner and the EPA suffered no consequences after they repeatedly lied and cooked the books in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. Browner, who pulled the puppet strings of then-EPA head Lisa Jackson, misled the public about the scope of the disaster by falsely claiming that 75 percent of the spill was “completely gone from the system.” Then she falsely claimed that the administration’s initial report on the disaster was “peer-reviewed.”

The Interior Department inspector general also singled out Browner for misrepresenting the White House’s blue-ribbon science panel, which opposed a six-month drilling moratorium, and exposed how she butchered their conclusions to justify the administration’s preordained policy agenda.

Browner, an inveterate left-wing crony lobbyist/activist, left office without so much as a wrist slap. Brazen data doctoring and destruction are her fortes. As EPA head during the Clinton administration in the 1990s, she was held in contempt by a federal judge after ordering a staffer to purge and delete her computer files. Browner had sought to evade a public disclosure lawsuit by conservative lawyer and author Mark Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation.

–Email evasion and transparency trouncing. While Browner was doing her dirty work as Obama’s unaccountable eco-czar, Jackson busied herself creating sock-puppet email personalities to circumvent public disclosure rules as the agency crafted radical climate-change policies in secret. She learned the tricks of the trade from Browner. Jackson admitted to using the pseudonym “Richard Windsor” on one of at least two separate secret government accounts. Competitive Enterprise Institute fellow Christopher Horner discovered the elaborate ruses in 2012. The agency had stonewalled Horner’s FOIA requests on the use of alias accounts at the agency; CEI sued to force the administration to comply.

In December 2012, Jackson resigned amid multiple investigations. Not a wrist slap. Not a scratch. In March of this year, a federal judge blasted the agency for avoiding a separate FOIA request by Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation related to sock-puppet email accounts created by Jackson and others “who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election.”

Apple Computer hired Jackson in 2013 (and all of her multiple personalities). Two months ago, the company proudly announced that it was promoting Jackson to “vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives” and head of the company’s “global government affairs and public policy teams.”

–Enabling sex predators and porn addicts. Last month, the EPA inspector general finally testified on Capitol Hill about the agency’s chronic mismanagement of alleged sexual perverts on the payroll. One employee “engaged in offensive and inappropriate behavior toward at least 16 women, most of whom were EPA co-workers,” the IG reported. Supervisors “were made aware of many of these actions and yet did nothing.”

Well, not exactly “nothing.” The employee was actually promoted to assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Homeland Security — a position he used to harass six more women.

Two other EPA workers were caught binging on porn during work hours; one was observed getting his X-rated fix by a minor who was at the office during Bring Your Child To Work Day. The EPA allowed one perv to retire with full benefits; the other is still on leave, collecting a $120,000 yearly salary.

Double standards. Data destruction. Imposition of radical job-killing regulations. Law-breaking with impunity. Only in Washington does a rogue government agency with an $8 billion budget get away with such serial incompetence and criminality in the name of the “public good.” Protecting the environment has become a full employment racket for green crooks and cronies.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Nullify The EPA. They’ve Earned It.

With a proposed $8.2 billion budget and over 15,000 employees to provide for, the “Environmental Protection Agency” (EPC) has come a long way since Republican President Richard Nixon signed an executive order to begin their unconstitutional work in December of 1970.  

The purpose of the EPA as stated on their website is to “protect human health and the environment.”  

However, in what has now become a disaster three times as large as originally reported, the EPA is responsible for spilling several million gallons of toxic waste replete with toxins, like arsenic and mercury, at astounding levels into a tributary of the Animas River in Colorado. 

This spill has exposed residents in three states to what CNN reported an array of health problems from cancer to kidney disease to developmental problems in children.”

In order to be proactive about the forthcoming lawsuits, the EPA is now trying to entice members of the Navajo Nation to “waive rights to future compensation for damages incurred by the toxic spill”a spill that some have suggested was intentional to secure mega funding for a new treatment plant.

So what happens to this unelected agency when it threatens and harms human health and the environment? If we follow the modern day political ideology, we will give it more funding and expand its jurisdiction so it can enforce the president’s new Clean Power regulations. Yet Thomas Jefferson warned us: “…in questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution…”

We would do well to remember the mischief of the EPA in Wyoming when welder Andy Johnson was accused of violating the Clean Water Act by building a pond in his back yard. The EPA’s threats in that case included a $75,000 a day fine.

Or do you recall when the EPA tried to subject the Sackett family of Idaho to a similar $75,000 a day fine over claims that the construction of their new home was interfering with wetlands? 

I don’t want to be overly critical; but even if the EPA did help protect human health and the environment, it still would not make it right. 

Look under the “Chains” of Article One Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution and see if you discover some authority for Congress to enact laws regarding the environment, which includes water, within the boundaries of these United States. You won’t discover such authority because it is not there!

So, what is known as the “Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)” has no Constitutional underpinning – no support – and has, therefore, no LEGAL standing. There is no reason, therefore, for any state or county to comply with any standards or requirements published by the EPA or any other federal agency or department.  

Way back in 1776, the Founders of America knew this truth and spoke this truth. They called these kinds of actions on the part of Parliament “pretended legislation.”

Pretended legislation…

Please remember that Acts of Congress and unelected agencies are not necessarily binding on the states.

Let me say that again. Acts of Congress and unelected agencies are not always binding on the states.

When are they binding? Simply stated, they are only binding if they are lawful–that is, when they do not conflict with the Constitution and with the Law of Nature and Nature’s God. When they are not lawful, they are “pretended legislation”; and the States are supposed to declare them as null and void and of no effect in the state.  

This is the Doctrine of Nullification; and it is as American as Baseball, Hot Dogs, and Apple Pie.

 

Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

The Agency That Contaminated The Animas River Is About To Start Regulating Water That May Be In Your Backyard

Unless a federal judge issues a preliminary injunction, the definition of the “Waters of the U.S.” will change on August 28—giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate the water in your backyard. Even, according to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey: “any area where agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years.”

Thirty-one states, in four districts, have filed motions with the federal courts to block the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) from beginning to enforce the new “Waters of the U.S.” rule (WOTUS), which represents a new interpretation of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

WOTUS was published in the Federal Register on June 29 and will become effective on August 28.

The CWA used to apply to “navigable waters,” which now, as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently said: “include almost any piece of land that gets wet and puddles.”

While the word “navigable” hasn’t been removed from CWA—as that would require an act of Congress—the EPA has expanded that definition to include any water that has a “significant nexus” with navigable waters. Regarding the final rule, Paxton explains: it “is so broad and open to interpretation that everything from ditches and dry creek beds, to gullies, to isolated ponds formed after a big rain could be considered a ‘water of the United States.’”

The CWA’s single word, “navigable,” has, for decades, been contentious with those who want to expand government control and limit industrial activity such as oil-and-gas development, mining, ranching, and farming. Former Representative Jim Oberstar (D-MN) fought hard to have the word “navigable” removed from the CWA and to expand its control to any waters. Despite repeated bites at the apple, prior Congresses refused to pass his legislation.

A July 28, 2015 letter signed by officials from 31 states, sent to the EPA and the ACOE requesting a minimum nine-month extension of the WOTUS effective date, states: “the new regulation will also have a significant impact on agricultural, homebuilding, oil and gas and mining operations as they try to navigate between established state regulatory programs and the EPA’s and ACOE’s new burdensome and conflicting federal requirements.”

On August 11, thirteen states—including oil-and-gas “heavyweights,” as Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) calls them, Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, and New Mexico—became the latest to ask a federal judge to block the controversial rule from taking effect. The states have asked for a hearing on the motion during the week of August 24. NGI states: “The oil and gas industry is opposed to the regulations because they believe it could stifle development.” A statement from the Independent Petroleum Association of America supports this assertion: “The 297-page rulemaking would require a federal permit for any activity that results in a discharge into any body of water covered by the new definition of ‘waters of the United States,’ including small streams and wetlands.”

In addition to the 31 states, on July 2, a coalition of a dozen industry groups—from agriculture to manufacturers to mining—filed a complaint against the EPA and ACOE over the WOTUS rule.

The goal of the litigations is to delay or defeat the regulations before they go into effect.

Apparently, the EPA—which allowed millions of gallons of toxic waste to spill into the Animas River—believes the agency can do a better job of protecting waterways, streams and wetlands than the states. A wide majority of states and industries disagree. The coalition hopes the lawsuits will overturn the rule and prove that the EPA has, again, gone beyond its jurisdiction with this expansion of regulatory authority.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth