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Clean Water and Property Rights Case—Sacket vz. EPA Heard By SCOTUS Today!

Sackett v. EPA

Jonathan H. Adler • January 9, 2012 8:10 am

Today the Supreme Court hears oral argument in Sackett v. EPA, a challenge to the federal government’s claim that landowners (and other regulated entities) may not obtain pre-enforcement review of an administrative compliance order under the Clean Water Act.  I previewed the case before.  Here is how the WSJ reports on the casethis morning: (read more here) 

Reinventing Environmentalism with Don Parmeter: Congress May Push Back on Expansion of Federal Power over Minnesota Water and Land

The battle over federal jurisdiction of water and lands under the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act is expected to be taken to the floor of the U.S. Senate as early as next week.  The debate has raged between Congress and the Obama Administration since the defeat of the expansive Clean Water Restoration Act, authored by former Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar and former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold. (That is a lot of formers.)
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued an administrative proposal to expand federal Clean Water Act powers without the consent of Congress. Because there is water almost everywhere in Minnesota, there is no one in the state that would be unaffected by this  unprecedented power grab. 

A bi-partisan bill to rein in EPA regulatory powers was passed by the House this summer, in addition to a bill that would prevent the Corps of Engineers from spending taxpayer money on the proposed expansion of federal jurisdiction.

Similar language is expected to be offered on the senate floor in the form of an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill by Wyoming Senator John Barrasso and Nevada Senator Dean Heller.

This is encouraging. Stay tuned!

Don Parmeter

November 21, 2011

The Political Allocation of Capital: RFK Jr and BrightSource by Bill Glahn

On a day when Nobel-prize winner and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu is on the hot seat on Capitol Hill, answering questions about the Solyndra scandal, details are coming out about an even larger, potential scandal.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail reports about a $1.4 billion bailout for a firm tied to environmental lawyer and Presidential nephew Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  The Mail reports,

“The revelation was made in an explosive new book, Throw Them All Out, which exposes the secret financial deals of an inner circle of businessmen and politicians in the White House (read more….)

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