Here are three problems with the government rule.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers’ final water rule under the Clean Water Act seeks to regulate almost every type of water in the country. And you don’t even need to get into the substance of the rule to know it’ll be a disaster. Here are three signs that this rule should be killed off immediately.
Sign 1: The Regulating Agency Is Acting More Like an Advocacy Group Than a Federal Agency.
The EPA engaged in controversial activities to help get support for the water rule. It launched a video and social media PR campaign asking: “Do you choose clean water?” As if critics of the rule want dirty water.
And that was just one gambit. According to the New York Times, “[l]ate last year, the EPA sponsored a drive on Facebook and Twitter to promote its proposed clean water rule in conjunction with the Sierra Club.”
The agency also kicked off a Thunderclap campaign to drum up support. “We hope you’ll support our clean water proposal. To help you do that, and get your friends to also voice their support, we’re using a new tool called Thunderclap; it’s like a virtual flash mob.” The message was sent to about 1.8 million people.
In addition to these Astroturf campaigns, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy dismissed legitimate public concerns about the proposed rule as “ludicrous” and “silly.” It could hardly be said that the EPA was encouraging people from all perspectives to participate when the head of the agency calls some public concerns ludicrous and silly. The message to those who had reservations about the proposal was clear: don’t even bother expressing criticism, because we will either mock it or ignore it.