March 16, 2017
It would be poor stewardship to weaken the Clean Water Act, given what we've learned about the interconnectivity of our waterways.
It appears that President Trump needs to do a reassessment of his priorities. We/He is responsible for the Earth that God created and owns, and that includes all waterways. I do disagree with the thought that farmers are polluting the land. They must grow food for people to consume. That said, the Earth belongs to the Lord and we are its caretakers. We must do whatever we must to stop polluting the waterways and I do not mean a puddle.
Farmers or at least the ones I know. make every effort to be good stewards of the land and resources. There is a lack of common sense in many of the regulations that the EPA has. We could use more of that in many areas.
The author raises the classic economic "problem of the commons." Heavy handed regulatory actions is one way. But perhaps not the best way. In any event, if the EPA's "logic" were to prevail in this regulatory state, then there is no area of our lives that is immune to regulatory intrusion because everything is connected to everything else at one level or another.
In Reply to THELMA VANDER POL (comment #30194)
Hi Thelma, Thanks for reading and responding. I agree, as we know there is nothing common about common sense. But the expanded protection of smaller waterways seems like a common sense decision. It makes perfect sense that fertilizer and pesticide runoff into a small creek will continue to run down stream and have consequences later wherever it flows. Deciding to protect smaller rivers is scientifically merited, makes good sense, and (I argue here on the basis of our calling as stewards of God's waterways) is spiritually prudent.
The assumption of this article seems to be that if the federal government doesn't regulate, there can be and is no regulation. As a practicing lawyer of 37 years, I can attest to the existence of state governments, and subsidiary governments, like counties and cities. And indeed, the people in those governments have brains too, at least, I would argue, as big as those who may work as federal employees.
I would also argue that, all things being equal, state and local governments have a greater ability to more precisely understand the various interests involved in waterway regulation in their own state and local areas.
I would take a more middle-ground stance on the EPA's decision on puddles and other small bodies of water. At least part of the problem was the financial burden it placed on land owners to bring those bodies of water up to the EPA's standards. Environmental clean-up is often a burden that no individual can afford, can easily lead to financial ruin, and can, ultimately, mean the loss of ownership of that land. If there are laws in place and I willfully break those laws by polluting sources of water, then punishment is in order. But new rules should be accompanied by the means to bring those water sources up to standard and keep them there without ruining a family or small business.
Sounds good, Bob A, but the idea of the federal government funding in the way you suggest is a bit of a pipe dream. Beyond that, the fed tends to make one-size-fits-all rules that far too often result in absurdity, and the resultant needless expense that puts folks out of business and eliminates jobs.
The bottom line, in most of the US at least, is that water quality is not bad. Once upon a time a federal presence was badly needed. But that was early 1970's. Now is not then. But federal agencies have a mindset that never includes putting themselves out of business, even when doing so should be their goal.
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