WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, led the opposition to a bill that would have huge implications on Oklahoma and rural America. While the bill, S. 787, the Clean Water Restoration Act, passed out of the EPW Committee today on a party-line vote, Senator Inhofe said he believed the bill would ultimately fail on the Senate Floor. Earlier this week, in a YouTube video, Senator Inhofe called the bill the "biggest bureaucratic power grab in a generation." The little-talked about bill, seeks to "extend the scope and reach of federal water jurisdiction beyond anything that ever existed under the Clean Water Act."
"The superficial changes made to this bill don't change its underlying intention and ultimate effect: to radically expand federal power over farms, ranches, and private property," Senator Inhofe said following the business meeting. "We heard plenty of talk about a grand compromise to address concerns from rural America. Yet in the end, the revised bill, which passed on a party-line vote, still lacks support from a large swath of rural stakeholders.
"I am pleased to support Senator Crapo's hold on the bill. On the very outside chance this bill ever actually reaches the Senate floor, I will work closely with Senator Crapo and others to defeat it and ensure that we protect private property owners, farmers, ranchers, and all those affected by the bill's regulatory overreach.
"This bill is further proof that Washington doesn't 'get rural America. The Democrats are moving a bill that amounts to the biggest bureaucratic power grab in a generation--and it's directed right at America's heartland. In fact, this bill is a significant part of a hostile agenda-whether it's new energy taxes from cap-and-trade or more unfunded mandates from Washington-aimed squarely at rural America."
Mike Spradling, President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, thanked Senator Inhofe for his opposition to the bill. "Thank you for your opposition to S. 787, the Clean Water Restoration Act. The Oklahoma Farm Bureau shares your concerns that the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) would needlessly expand the federal reach of CWA and result in significant negative impacts on farmers, ranchers, local governments and local economies without improving protections of the nation's critical water resource..."
American Farmers & Ranchers President Terry Detrick also thanked Senator Inhofe for his work on opposing the bill, saying, "At a time when Oklahoma is going through the process of developing a comprehensive water plan for our citizens to determine the fate of our water, this legislation would turn the authority over to the federal government thereby usurping any local control. We want to thank Senator Inhofe for his stance for Oklahoma agriculture and his continued effort to maximize local control and protect private property rights."