The Obama administration says a new federal rule regulating small streams and wetlands will protect the drinking water of more than 117 million people in the country.
Not so, insist Republicans. They say the rule is a massive government overreach that could even subject puddles and ditches to regulation.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is promising to "rein in" the government through legislation or other means.
It's a threat with a familiar ring.
What else are Capito and other Republicans pledging to try to block?
—the administration's plan to curb carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.
—its proposal for stricter limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness
—a separate rule setting the first national standards for waste generated from coal burned for electricity.
The rules are among a host of regulations that majority Republicans have targeted for repeal or delay as they confront President Barack Obama on a second-term priority: his environmental legacy, especially his efforts to reduce the pollution linked to global warming.
WHAT HAS OBAMA PROPOSED?
Last June, Obama rolled out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant U.S. actions ever to address global warming. Once completed this summer, the rule will set the first national limits on carbon dioxide from existing power plants, the largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S.
The administration says the rule is expected to raise electricity prices by about 4.9 percent by 2020 and spur a wave of retirements of coal-fired power plants.
The administration also has moved forward on other rules, including the water plan announced last Wednesday. Officials say it will provide much-needed clarity for landowners about which small waterways and tributaries must be protected against pollution and development.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, said the rule only would affect waters with a "direct and significant" connection to larger bodies of water downstream that already are protected.
these "pledges" are starting to look ridiculous.
Basically, the Democrats do their subversive dirty deeds, and the Republicans just stand back and watch it happen. The only thing that will change anything in Washington is a bloody revolution with the blood of the Washington politicians flowing first. Voting, writing letters, attending rallys, signing petitions, making phone calls, all don't do a damned thing. Nothing will change because Big Money, the lust for power, the Socialist idealogy, all have our "representatives" doing nothing of substance for us citizens. All we get, and have gotten is talk, talk, talk, and empty promises.