Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, participated in a full committee hearing on the aftermath of the Supreme Court striking down President Biden’s overreaching, illegal “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.
ON SUPREME COURT’S UNANIMOUS REJECTION OF BIDEN RULE’S “SIGNIFICANT NEXUS” TEST: “The Biden administration has come in and revised the rule as a reaction to the Sackett opinion. And the Supreme Court found unanimously that for different reasons that the mere presence of water does not allow for federal jurisdictions. So they have removed the phrase ‘significant nexus’ from the rule and kind of called it a day.”
ON BIDEN’S REVISED, POST-SACKETT RULE LEADING TO MORE UNCERTAINTY, LAWSUITS:
RANKING MEMBER CAPITO: “What I'm hearing is that we're going to be back at court and this is going to be back up to the Supreme Court the way the administration has rewritten this rule. Would that be as safe statement?”
SUSAN BODINE, EARTH AND WATER LAW: “I agree with you.”
ON BIDEN ADMINISTRATION PURPOSEFULLY PREVENTING PUBLIC INPUT DURING NEW RULEMAKING PROCESS: “I talked about the rulemaking process. And they kind of skirted a little bit the rules there in terms of public input, which is kind of ironic, because in this Committee all we hear about is community input and how we need to make sure we’re listening to the community, which I believe is extremely valuable, and we should be doing that and that's a big emphasis. But they didn't go through this.”
ON TANGIBLE IMPACT OF WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES RULES: “And then just to simplify it in regular terms, the whole Sackett case was about a couple trying to build a house near a lake. I mean, so it is very granular. We're talking kind of big, bold definitions and how it's going to implement and everything, but basically it's about homeowners, construction, folks, farmers. It's the basic parts of our different states that are most deeply affected.”
ON IMPORTANCE OF AVOIDING HYPERBOLE WHEN DISCUSSING AFTERMATH OF THE SACKETT CASE: “The federal government does protect clean water. Our state governments protect clean water and you mentioned other agencies that are involved in this as well…we're not eliminating or getting rid of any, you know, protections of clean water here. We're actually asking an administration to heed the decision, in part, a unanimous decision by our Supreme Court, and to adhere to the law as it was written 51 years ago, and then it has been amended to that.”
Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.
Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening statement.
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